One of the biggest pieces of employment law news this year was the abolition of employment tribunal fees off the back of the Supreme Court case in July which ruled that the fees were, and always had been, unlawful. We have been warning our clients that claims were likely to increase, not only because fees will no longer stand in the way of new claimants but also because claims that were rejected for non-payment will likely be reinstated.
The Ministry of Justice has now published its quarterly statistics from July to September on the number of Employment Tribunal claims lodged. Comparing the figures to those from the same period in 2016, the number of claims lodged by a single applicant has increased by 64%, to the largest number in 4 years. Some 3,405 single applicant claims were filed in August alone which is a month-on-month rise of 125% and an increase of 109% from last year.
The number of claims has not yet reached pre-fee figures and it is worth noting that as a result of the increase in claim numbers, the employment tribunals have also disposed of 23% more claims than in July to September of last year. However, even with this number of disposals, this is still a significant increase in claims and employers should take note that the abolition of fees is likely to affect them at some point or another.
When it comes to an employment tribunals, it is always better to get it right the first time and avoid a claim altogether. If an issue has arisen in your workplace and you are unsure how to handle it, get in touch with your dedicated Employment Solicitor today.