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Employment Tribunal Claims are on the increase

Published 16 March 2018

The latest Employment Tribunal Statistics have been published by the Government (1) and they clearly show that they are at the highest level since the introduction of the fee

Since the Supreme Court (2) handed down the Unison Judgment ([2017] UKSC 51] (3) on 26 July 2017, which brought about the abolition of the controversial Employment Tribunal fee regime, it appears that the floodgates have been opened and the Employment Tribunal litigation boom began.

The report demonstrates the types and volume of tribunal cases received, disposed of and that the report highlights that single Employment Tribunal (4) claims received increased have by 90%.
 
More significantly, claims for unlawful deductions from wages(5), which had virtually disappeared overnight under the tribunal fees regime, are now resurfacing.

The Employment Tribunal fee refund scheme (6) introduced following the abolition of fees show that 4,800 applications for refunds were received between October and 31 December 2017, with 3,400 payments being made with a total value of £2.758m.

Expert Opinion

“These statistics reveal that employers are facing a rush of claims as employees are no longer put off from using the tribunal process since the tribunal fees have been removed. 

The Supreme Court heard convincing evidence that many workers were denied access to justice and didn’t bother to bring claims because of the cost. These figures show that attitudes have clearly changed and we are likely to see increasing numbers of employees willing to bring claims if they cannot resolve disputes directly with their employers.

My advice to employers is to ensure that they follow a fair process in line with the ACAS code, sometimes it may take a little longer but it will certainly save time and money in the long run.”

References

1.Tribunals and gender recognition certificate statistics quarterly: October to December 2017 - GOV.UK [Internet]. [cited 2018 Mar 15]. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/tribunals-and-gender-recognition-certificate-statistics-quarterly-october-to-december-2017

2.Court TS. The Supreme Court [Internet]. [cited 2018 Mar 15]. Available from: https://www.supremecourt.uk/

3.uksc-2015-0233-judgment.pdf [Internet]. [cited 2018 Mar 15]. Available from: https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/docs/uksc-2015-0233-judgment.pdf

4.Employment Tribunal - GOV.UK [Internet]. [cited 2017 Dec 11]. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/courts-tribunals/employment-tribunal

5.What is an Unlawful Deductions from wages? [Internet]. Castle Associates Ltd. 2017 [cited 2018 Mar 15]. Available from: https://castleassociates.org.uk/ask-the-expert/watch/what-unlawful-deductions-wages

6.et-fee-refund-scheme-provisional-management-information.pdf [Internet]. [cited 2018 Mar 15]. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/674335/et-fee-refund-scheme-provisional-management-information.pdf

 

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