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Employment tribunal claims increase by 90%

14 March 2018

Employment tribunal claims increase by 90%The latest data on employment tribunals from the Ministry of Justice shows that claims have risen 90% year-on-year since fees were abolished in 2017.

The Government introduced fees of up to £1,200 for employment tribunals in 2013; as a result, 79% fewer cases were brought over the next three years.

In July 2017, the Supreme Court found that the Government had been acting unlawfully when it introduced fees. Since then, it has started to reimburse claimants that paid fees.

The latest statistics on employment tribunals from the Ministry of Justice reveal that the number of single claims has almost doubled since fees were abolished; receipts, disposals and caseloads outstanding increased by 90%, 21% and 66% respectively in the three months to December 2017, compared with the same period in 2016.

Multiple employment tribunal claims have increased by 467%, mainly due to a rise in holiday pay cases. Of all claims accepted in the fourth quarter of 2017, 22% were for unlawful deduction of wages, 13% were equal pay claims, 7% were for breach of contract and 3% concerned sex discrimination.

The data also shows that 4,800 applications for refunds have been received and 3,400 payments worth £2.8m have been made since the refund scheme was established.

Helen Crossland, head of employment at law firm Seddons, told Personnel Today that the additional caseload has put pressure on the tribunal service. She said: "Unfortunately this has also made for a corresponding backlog in claims. One consequence is that parties will need to factor into their case strategy the fact they will have to wait much longer for hearings to be listed and for applications (including to address unmeritorious claims) to be processed."

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