So, after a gap of eight months – due to the going live, in March, of a shiny new (and no doubt expensive) Case Management System that it seems cannot reliably count the number of cases it is managing – HM Courts & Tribunals Service has finally (and quietly) published some data on Employment Tribunal receipts.
On 18 October, justice minister James Cartlidge told shadow justice minister Alex Cunningham and other MPs that:
The most recent employment tribunal data covers the period up to March 2021. This is because [the employment tribunal system] has moved to a new case management system, and HMCTS is currently working to incorporate the new IT system alongside longer-established data sources to provide a more complete and consistent data set for this jurisdiction.
However, late last week we learnt (from the minutes of the most recent ET National User Group meeting) that, just four days previously, on 14 October, HMCTS had quietly published a new set of management information on “workload and timeliness for HMCTS criminal, civil and family courts, and tribunals”. And this set of management information includes data on Employment Tribunal receipts (but not disposals) up to August 2021. Maybe someone should have told minister Cartlidge.
Whatever, is this a precious moment? Or do we employment policy nerds have to suffer and cry the whole night through a bit longer?
Well, the following chart adds the new data (for the months March to August 2021) to the previously published figures for the period January 2017 to February 2021. And maybe the number of new ET cases really did plummet by 42% between November 2020 and May 2021, to a level not seen since before the abolition of ET fees in July 2017.
Or maybe some new cases got ‘lost’ while the new Case Management System was being taught how to count the number of cases that it is managing. You decide.