There has been a significant fall in the number of employment tribunal claims made in the UK over the past year, new figures have revealed.

Data from the Tribunals Service shows that the number of employment tribunal claims reached 186,300 in the year to March, a fall of 15 per cent compared to 2010-11.

Single claims fell by two per cent while there was a reduction of 19 per cent in multiple claims.

Cases concerning gender discrimination saw a particularly sharp fall, from 18,300 last year to 10,800 in 2011-12.

There was also a significant fall in tribunal cases on grounds of age discrimination, which declined to 3,700 following a spike of 6,800 in the year before.

Tribunal cases concerning race and sexual orientation discrimination also saw slight falls.

Commenting on the figures, XpertHR employment law editor Stephen Simpson said they cast doubt on recent suggestions that employment tribunals are placing an unnecessary burden on businesses, which is discouraging them from increasing recruitment.

“The two per cent decrease in individual claims is the most reliable indicator of the burden faced by employment tribunals compared with a year earlier. It shows that single claims are holding fairly steady and not shooting up, as some sources would have you believe,” he told Personnel Today.

“In fact, longer-term statistics provided by the Tribunals Service show that single claims have remained fairly steady over the last 12 years. If anything, individual claims have actually dropped in the last few years.”

Unfair dismissal tribunal claims were down from 47,900 to 46,300 for the year to March, breach of contract from 34,600 to 32,100 and equal pay from 34,600 to 28,800.

However, the number of claims for failure to inform and consult in a transfer of undertaking (TUPE) situation rose from 1,900 in 2010-11 to 2,600 in 2011-12.