09 Mar 2018
The number of employment tribunal claims have risen by a further 90%, after rocketing by 120% in the previous 3 months.Claims have shot up since the Supreme Court axed fees, calling them a ‘barrier to justice’ in July 2017. The huge rises reflect that there is no longer a financial deterrent against making a claim. The figures, which have been released by the Ministry of Justice, are for the period of October to December 2017, with the previous rise reflecting July to September – just after fees were lifted. These statistics also show that the initial jump in case numbers, following the Supreme Court’s decision on fees, was not a blip. Clearly there has been a sustained increase in case numbers since that decision. Particularly noticeable is the marked increase in the number of equal pay claims, likely to be a result of the focus on the gender pay gap generally, now that the first reporting deadline for businesses with more than 250 employees is upon us, and large equal pay claims against private employers such as Asda and Tesco. Although employers can prohibit employees talking about pay, they have a right to ask colleagues about pay for the purpose of investigating whether there is a valid equal pay complaint. As the risk of facing a claim increases it’s more important than ever for employers to assess whether they are following lawful practices and complying with HR best practice.
The Latest Tribunal Stats – A BreakdownSingle claims:
- Received between October and December compared to the same quarter in 2016/17 increased by 90%
- There has also been a 16% quarter-on-quarter increase in single claims - in Q2 2017/18, 7,042 claims were received whereas 8,173 claims were received in Q3 2017/18
- Cases are increasing – there has been a 27% quarter-on-quarter increase in 2017/18
- The highest number of cases was just after the lifting of fees in August 2017, which was 3,226
- An average of 2,907 cases were received by employment tribunals in October, November and December.
What this Means for EmployersThese statistics from the Ministry of Justice show the number of claims are continuing to increase following the removal of fees in July 2017 The statistics also support the Supreme Court’s decision that the tribunal fee system discriminated against women and other particular protected groups. For example, the 56.5% increase in race discrimination claims compared to the same quarter in 2016/17, when claimants had to pay a fee As claims continue to increase, employers need to assess whether they are following lawful practices and providing staff with the correct employment rights There has been a notable increase in the number of unfair dismissal claims made – this suggests ex-employees are increasingly challenging the fairness of their dismissal. Employers who perhaps adopted riskier practices when claims were lower now need to ensure they are following fair procedures and have a fair reason before dismissing staff.
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 3384.
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