15 Dec 2017
According to the latest statistics from the Ministry of Justice, since the Supreme Court ruled that the tribunal fees regime was unlawful and a ‘barrier to justice’ in July claims have shot up by 120%.The latest tribunal data compares the number of claims accepted in July to September 2016 and July to September 2017.
Latest Tribunal Stats
- Single cases double: 1,520 single cases in June and 1,358 in July; compared to 3,045 in August and 2,639 in September
- Percentage rise in single & multiple claims: 64% increase in single claims and 63% increase in cases of multiple claims compared to the same quarter in 2016
- Breach of contract: there were over 3,000 claims made July-September 2017 – a 57.5% increase
- Equal pay: there were over 9,300 claims made July-September 2017 - a 274% increase
- National minimum wage: there was a 130% increase in claims made this quarter
- Failure to inform and consult during redundancy: nearly 1,000 claims were made July-September 2017 – a 119% increase
- Unauthorised deductions from wages: over 5,500 claims were made July-September 2017 – a 179% increase
- Unfair dismissals: there have been over 4,300 claims made July-September 2017 – a 41.8% increase
Tribunal Claims Rocket - Infographic
What This Means For Employers?Since the removal of tribunal fees, the statistics reflect the fact that there is no longer a financial deterrent against making a claim. For claimants with a valid concern against their employer, this makes it easier to seek compensation at tribunal; and for claimants with a spurious or weak claim, there is no longer a deterrent to lodging a claim at tribunal to pressure their employer into entering a financial settlement. The statistics for this quarter are likely to be skewed by the number of claims lodged immediately following the Supreme Court decision in the Unison case – either from those claimants near the end of the time limit to bring a claim or from those who will seek an extension of the time limit on the basis that they couldn’t previously afford to claim. However it seems certain that the number of claims made will continue to be greater than those made whilst the fee system was in place. Whilst the Secretary of State for Justice has announced the government is looking at re-introducing fees, these are likely to be set at a much lower level to avoid restricting access to justice. This will therefore have a limited effect on the number of claims made.
What Can Employers Do?The removal of fees, and subsequent increase in tribunal claims, makes it more important than ever that employers seek advice on HR and employment law matters. You should protect your business by:
- Ensuring the correct documentation is in place to avoid the risk of a tribunal hearing to determine the status of their staff
- Taking advice and following fair and reasonable procedures will ensure they lower the risk of facing tribunal
- Taking legal advice on the merits of a claim once papers are received will ensure employers are not paying settlements when claims have no realistic chance of success
Tribunal Concerns – We’re Here To HelpWith no fees to pay, there’s nothing to stop employees making a claim. So it’s more important than ever to get your HR and employment law right. Our expert support can help protect you from paying £5,000 in solicitor’s fees, which is the average cost per claim. Croner’s experts are here to support businesses with implementing policies and procedures to protect against tribunals, as well as offer expert advice if you have an ongoing grievance or situation where a case is proceeding to tribunal. For more information on Croner's HR or employment tribunal support please click here or call 0808 145 3490. * Source: Minsitry of Justice
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