The latest employment tribunal statistics have been published by the Ministry of Justice.
They detail the type and volume of cases received, disposed of and outstanding for the period October to December 2018. This information is useful in assessing employment litigation trends and the impact of fees (which were introduced in July 2013 and abolished in July 2017) and Acas Early Conciliation (which was introduced in May 2014).
The stats show that there was an increase of 23% in the claims received in this quarter compared to the same quarter in 2017.
The total caseload outstanding for employment tribunals at the end of December 2018 had increased by 53% for single claims compared to the same quarter last year.
It is, of course, worthy of note that fees were still in place during the same quarter of 2017.
Of the claims disposed of in October to December 2018, 29% were Acas conciliated settlements, 21% were withdrawn, 18% were struck out…and only 8% were successful at hearing.
Chris Nagel, Director / Head of HR at EML, comments:
“By 2013, the tribunal service was buckling under the volume of claims it was handling and employers had long been frustrated by the time and money they had to throw at an increasing number of frivolous and vexatious cases. As such, the introduction of fees and compulsory Early Conciliation were positively received by businesses. The effectiveness of these measures in reducing claim levels far exceeded expectations and many employers acknowledged (mainly off-the-record!) that the level of fees was proving prohibitive to individuals who might have legitimate claims. Unions formalised this objection and the courts eventually agreed, resulting in the abolition of the fee regime in 2017. Given the stats above, you won’t be surprised to learn that the MoJ is deliberating the reintroduction of fees at a level which will sufficiently address the “barrier to justice” argument.”
If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in this blog further, please do not hesitate to contact one of our HR consultants. We supply not just commercially minded employment law advice and bespoke HR services, but a comprehensive employment tribunal representation service to our clients. Our experienced HR support consultants have defended thousands of claims over the years and will handle any claims you receive, ranging from straightforward unfair dismissals to complex discrimination cases.
Dated: 1 April 2019