Employment Tribunal claims: calm before the storm?
The number of UK Employment Tribunal claims rose very slightly during the period between April and June this year, according to the latest figures produced by the Ministry of Justice.
There were 4,241 single claims received in April to June 2017, up 2 % on the same period of 2016. Since Q2 2014/15 single claim receipts have remained relatively stable, with around 4,200 claims per quarter.
However, these latest statistics don’t take account of the impact of the Supreme Court ruling on 26 July 2017, which deemed the introduction of the fees system introduced four years earlier to be unlawful. As a result, the government will now have to repay up to £32m to claimants who paid fees to bring an ET claim against their employer, and the number of new cases is expected to rise greatly.
We reported on how the claims process for reimbursement of fees will be managed last month.
The introduction of fees in July 2013 saw a resultant reduction in the number of ET claims by 79%. Following the removal of the fees regime, employers would be advised to anticipate a rise in the number of claims being brought, and to ensure that training and policy documentation is up to date and in place to effectively manage employee relations.
International Workplace HR Consultant Tarvinder Tumber notes an increase in the number of calls being received to the company’s employee relations hotline, and queries from clients about both historical and new cases:
“The Supreme Court ruling has undoubtedly created some confusion but also increased demand for our services. We deliver a fixed cost employment law support service for UK employers, as well as providing training to HR professionals in how to mitigate the risk of ET claims.
“It will be interesting to see how this increased demand is reflected in the next quarter’s ET statistics, which will take account of the period from July to September 2017. My guess is that the figures reported just now are the calm before the storm, and we will see a big increase - remembering that this caseload is on top of dealing with fees for historical cases that now need reviewing.”
For more information on International Workplace’s employment law support service, call us on 0333 210 1995.
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