Employment Tribunal claims fall by more than half

by Redmans on December 30, 2013

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Figures released by the Ministry of Justice this month showed that claims for unfair dismissal (and other complaints) fell by up to 55% after the introduction of fees for the Employment Tribunal this summer.

The Ministry of Justice’s most recent statistics showed a sharp drop in the number of claims made between July and August 2013, after the introduction of fees to use the Employment Tribunal on 29 July 2013. Claimants now have to pay fees to issue their claims and before a hearing in the following magnitude:

  • Type A claims (e.g. unlawful deduction from wages claims): £160 fee to issue a claim and a £230 fee for the Employment Tribunal hearing
  • Type B claims (e.g. unfair dismissal and/or discrimination claims): £250 to issue a claim and a £950 for the Employment Tribunal hearing

According to the Ministry of Justice figures, the number of claims accepted by the Employment Tribunal service feel from 17,153 in July 2013 to 7,448 in August 2013. However, the sharp decrease in the number of claims in this time period has also been attributed to a surge in the number of claims issued in July 2013 in order to avoid having to pay the fees. Figures also showed that there had been a year-on-year fall of 17% in the number of claims issued.

In October this year UNISON the Union issued an application for judicial review in the High Court to attempt to challenge the legality of the fees to use the Employment Tribunal – it is believed that the High Court will give judgment in the new year on this application. Dave Prentice, general secretary of Unison, commented when the application was made: “Experience shows that the balance in the workplace favours the employers and pricing workers out of court is unfair and underhand. We are pleased that the Equality and Human Rights Commission are backing our case.”

Chris Hadrill, an employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the matter: “It will be interesting to see in the new year what the High Court’s decision on the application for judicial review is. Should Employment Tribunal fees be repealed – which, according to various sources seems unlikely – then we may see a rise in the number of Employment Tribunal claims being issued next year.”

Redmans Solicitors offer settlement agreement advice and employment law advice to employers and employees

Please note that Redmans Solicitors were not in any way associated with the application for judicial review 

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    An Employment Tribunal is like a court but it is not as formal; for example, nobody wears a wig or gown. However, like a court it must act independently and cannot give legal advice. Almost all hearings are open to the public.

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