Employment Tribunal Statistics remain stable…but for how long?

Recent statistics produced by the Ministry of Justice showed that the number of claims to the Employment Tribunal between the period April to June 2017 has increased.

From April to June there were 4,241 single claims logged, this shows a 2% increase on the same period of 2016.

88,476 cases were accepted by the tribunal service over the year to June 2017. 17,005 of these counted for single cases and 71,471 counted as multiple claims. This shows an increase in the total claim numbers by 6% in comparison to 2015/16.

Although the number of claims logged has been suggested as being stable, this is likely to change after the Supreme Court found that tribunal fees were unlawful. This is because employees will now feel more inclined to bring a claim forward with the removal of the barrier of costly fees.

Between April and June, there was 9,518 multiple claims received. This shows a decrease of 19% during the same period in 2016.

The research published by the Ministry of Justice identified that the maximum compensation award during 2016/17 was in an unfair dismissal claim which saw £1.7m paid out.

Throughout the year to June 2017, over 30,000 cases were brought under the Working Time Directive, 12,038 for unfair dismissal and 10,467 for equal pay.

In the same time frame 86% of claimants had legal representation and 9% represented themselves.

Cases heard in the Employment Appeal Tribunal in 2016/17 fell by 8% in comparison to the year 2015/16. The number of claims thrown out by the EAT decreased by 14% over the same time period.

Following the ruling made by the Supreme Court, the Government announced it would take steps to put an end to fees and organise refunds to all who have previously paid fees – this pay-out has been estimated to cost the Government £32m.

Xpert HR’s employment law editor, Stephen Simpson states: “It is anticipated that the abolition of employment tribunal fees in July of this year will lead to a sharp rise in claims. What we don’t know is whether the removal of the fees barrier will mean an immediate return to pre-July 2013 claim levels. Or will the increase be more modest or gradual?

“The latest statistics only cover the period up to June 2017, so don’t shed any light on this. However, employers and employment lawyers will be eagerly awaiting the next round of quarterly tribunal figures, covering July to September 2017. They are scheduled for publication on 14 December and should provide an indication of the initial impact of the removal of fees on claim levels.”

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