Employment Tribunal Claims Down 79%
There was a 79% decrease in the number of employment tribunal claims lodged between October and December 2013, compared with the same period the previous year.
The figure, revealed by the latest quarterly tribunal statistics, suggests that the introduction of fees for bringing employment tribunal claims may be having a significant impact on the number of claims made to employment tribunals. Fees were introduced for all employment tribunal claims issued on or after 29 July 2013.
However, the Ministry of Justice advises that the figures should be treated with extreme caution. They are still provisional at this stage and may not include claims where an application has been made for fee remission and a decision on the application is still awaited. Such claims are not recorded on the tribunal case management system until a fee has been paid or remission application granted. Final figures will be published at the end of the 2013/14 year.
From 29 July 2013, a sift stage was introduced for employment tribunal claims. Once the claim and response have been received an employment judge must review the papers to ensure that there are arguable claims and defences. The tribunal statistics reveal that the number of complaints disposed of via the sift was less than 1% of all disposals, suggesting either that employment judges are reluctant to dismiss claims at the sift stage or that weaker claims are not being lodged in the first place due to the requirement to pay a fee.
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