Employment Tribunals - out of a job?
The Ministry of Justice has today published its Tribunal Statistics Quarterly, covering the period from October to December 2013 and it makes very interesting reading. In short, Employment Tribunal claims were down 79% when compared to the same period in 2012.
The document notes that Employment Tribunal receipts can be broken down into single and multiple claims. The number of single cases has fallen from a peak of nearly 7,000 in July 2013 (a peak which was surely the result of the impending fee regime – prior to that the average had been just over 4,000 per month) to an average of 1,700 between October and December 2013. Multiple claims (ie those that are grouped, processed and managed together) have also fallen to an average of 160 per month.
I am sure that the huge decrease in the number of claims is a direct consequence of the new fee regime (possibly coupled with the change in qualifying service period), but I don't think any of us could have predicted this would have quite such a dramatic impact. From an employer's perspective though, it is clearly good news. Certainly the introduction of fees is likely to deter aggrieved employees from bringing spurious claims. However, the statistics do raise the question of whether the fee regime is having an impact on individuals' abilities to assert their rights (as argued by Unison in the judicial review case – see here ). Only time (and a possible appeal) will tell.