It has been reported by Acas that the number of cases taken to an employment tribunal have increased by 39% since the fees were abolished last year.
Since the ruling, a higher proportion of notifications went onto become claims lodged at an employment tribunal. The number of cases that went to a tribunal increased by 39% to 7,000, whereas the overall notifications to Acas saw an increase of 19% year-on-year to 17,000.
The conciliation service’s annual report highlights that notifications to bring a claim to a tribunal had increased by 29.4% from 1,700 a week to 2,200 a week. These figures are from when the Supreme Court ruled it was unlawful to charge claimants up to £1,200 in a tribunal.
The report also showed from 2016-2017, Acas handled 18,647 claims that were taken to an employment tribunal whereas in the last financial year, 26,012 were referred to a tribunal.
Acas deal with any disputes that do not require the need for legal action. Anyone who wants to make an employment tribunal claim will have to inform the free conciliation service first.
The chair of Acas, Sir Brendan Barber stated: “The number of people deciding to pursue a tribunal claim has definitely increased since the Supreme Court’s decision to scrap fees”.
Acas claimed to have helped settle around 92% of disagreements between staff members and their employers. In all of the cases Acas has dealt with, 70% had avoided an employment tribunal hearing.
The Acas helpline has received 783,000 calls. The top three categories answered were, discipline, dismissal and grievances; contracts; and wages and the national minimum wage.
According to figures from the Ministry of Justice, the number of single employment tribunal claims received increased by 118% between January and March 2018 and the number of outstanding cases had increased by 89%.
On the other hand, the number of multiple claims received decreased by 40%, however the number of cases outstanding increased by 21%. At the end of March, it is reported around 7,700 fee refunds had been issued, totalling to £6.5 million.
In order to keep up with the number of employment tribunal cases received, the Judicial Appointments Commission sought to recruit 54 new judges in June.
If you need any support or guidance in employment tribunals, please contact a member of the HPC team:
T: 0844 800 5932