The U.K.’s Ministry of Justice has published its quarterly Employment Tribunal statistics for October to December 2017. These are the second set of statistics released since the landmark Supreme Court ruling in July 2017 which found that the fees regime unlawfully prevented access to justice (see our previous update here).
These statistics show a marked increase in the number of claims brought in the Employment Tribunal, reflecting what was to be expected after the abolition of the fees regime last summer: that employees and workers are more willing and able to bring claims now that they are no longer obliged to pay a fee. In summary, the statistics show the following:
- Single claims alone are up by 90 percent compared to the same quarter last year, and are at their highest since the introduction of fees in 2013.
- There have so far been 3,337 refund payments to a total value of £2.76 million. It is believed that the total refund value may be as much as £32 million.
Although these statistics will be of concern to employers, it is important to remember that having appropriate policies and procedures in place and taking advice at an early stage will assist in protecting against potential claims from employees and workers. In addition, the Employment Tribunal will continue to exercise its ability to weed out claims which are vexatious or have no reasonable chance of success.