According to the new Ministry of Justice latest statistics, the abolishment of employment tribunal fees has resulted in a significant increase of 90% in single claims between October to December 2017. Disposals and caseload outstanding have risen by 21% and 66% when compared with the same quarter in 2016.
The number of new claims brought to employment tribunals has increased by 64%. This was after the Supreme Court’s judgement rejected the government’s fee system and abolished employment tribunal fees in July 2017. The introduction of fees by the government was proven to be discriminatory against females who were more than likely unable to pay due to not working in long-term employment.
The advantage of the abolition of tribunal fees is that no one is restricted from making a claim. There are no financial barriers and everyone is given the opportunity to take their claim to a tribunal. The above statistics show that a large amount of people have benefitted from the removal of fees. However, this does come as a disadvantage as the increase in claims means parties will have to wait longer for hearings to be processed.
Single claim receipts averaged at a steady rate of 4,200 claims per quarter since the second quarter of 2014/15. However, this changed in the second quarter of 2017/18 as single claims increased to 8,173. This is more than likely due to the removal of employment tribunal fees.
In the same quarter, the tribunal system disposed of 7,775 claims. Only 8% were successful at the hearing. A third of jurisdictional complaints that were disposed of were Acas-conciliated settlements, 21% were dismissed upon withdrawal and 12% were withdrawn. Unauthorised deductions from wages was the most common jurisdictional complaint disposed of.
The large amount of holiday pay cases brought to employment tribunals has resulted in a 467% increase in multiple claims. The number of multiple claims disposed of has fallen by 55% whereas the outstanding case overload has risen by 27%. Multiple claims can be worrying for employers because there is more than one claim made against them.
To prevent employers from going to tribunals, they must look at how their employees are treated and reduce any factors which could create a risk to the company. Employers need to be sensitive and careful when dealing and handling employee issues.
Organisations need to ensure they allow sufficient time for employees to express their concerns and voice their opinions. Employers should always seek legal advice or support rather than ignoring a problem as it could lead to potential costs for the business.
If you have any questions regarding this post or need any advice or guidance in relation to Employment Tribunal claims, please contact a member of the HPC team:
T: 0844 800 5932