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Tribunal Fees statistics

18th November, 2013

Quarterly statistics on the number of claims lodged in the employment tribunal have been published by the Ministry of Justice.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Justice published statistics on the number of employment tribunal claims received for the quarter July to September 2013. These statistics were much anticipated following the introduction of tribunal fees on 29 July 2013.

While the statistics are, of course, noteworthy for employment law, they should be treated with caution.

There are warnings to treat the statistics with caution for a number of reasons. Firstly it is important to note that immediately prior to this quarter, in June 2013, there were 25,000 claims filed, a substantial rise on the monthly average of 17,000. This was no doubt due to a surge of people lodging their claims before the fees were introduced.

In addition, the statistics do not account for any claims filed to the Leicester processing centre in August or September which are still awaiting payment of fees or a decision on a remission. Thus, an accurate picture of the actual number of claims filed is not currently available.

The suspected affects of the tribunal fees could be seen immediately with a drop in claims in the subsequent months.

In July 2013 the number of claims submitted was on a par with the monthly average at 17,000 claims. Tribunal fees were then introduced in the last week of July and August did appear to see the affect of them, together with the June surge.

During August 2013 just 7,000 claims were lodged and the situation appeared bleak for employment law. By September 2013, the number of claims had risen again to 14,000, although not quite the monthly average, it can not be said to be differing too dramatically.

The decrease in the number of claims lodged has had a different effect between single and multiple claims.

The number of single claims were unstable from January to October 2012, but after October 2012 they began to gradually decrease from nearly 5,000 in October 2012 to just over 4,000 in June 2013. The number rose to nearly 7,000 in July 2013, again, probably due to the surge of claims before the introduction of fees.

Provisional data shows the number of single cases then fell sharply to only 1,000 cases in September 2013, this figure should, again, be treated with caution but this does appear to be a direct affect of tribunal fees.

There was a generally flat trend in multiple claims from April 2012 to June 2013 and although there has been a decrease in claims following the pre-quarter surge and the introduction of fees, this decrease was no where near as substantial as the decrease in single claims.

What do the statistics as a whole tell us about the future for employment law?

As discussed above, it is highly likely that the August and September figures were affected by the June surge and it is possible that we are still feeling the repercussions now. The next quarter’s statistics will hopefully paint a more accurate picture of the changes to employment tribunal claims following the introduction of fees.

Considering the cautions attached to the statistics, the figures don’t look as bleak for employment law as the first impressions on introduction of Tribunal fees.

For further information and advise on Employment Tribunal claims and applicable fees, please contact Helen Watson on 01244 405565 or send an email to [email protected].

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