Tribunal Claim Numbers Continue to Fall
Quarterly statistics for January to March 2014 reveal a 58% decrease in the number of claims brought by single individuals compared to the same period in 2013. This continues the trend shown in the October to December 2013 statistics which indicated a 63% reduction in single claims in that period.
The figures indicate that the introduction of fees for bringing employment tribunal claims last summer is having a significant impact on the number of claims being brought and appear to support Unison’s arguments that fees may be acting as a barrier to justice.
A 2013 Survey of Employment Tribunals Applications also reveals attitudes to fees (which at that point had not been brought into force). Claimants surveyed were asked whether an application fee of £250 would have influenced their decision to bring a tribunal claim and 49% considered it would. Claimants who had brought unauthorised deductions claims were most likely to be influenced by a fee and again this is consistent with the latest tribunal statistics which revealed an 85% drop in unauthorised deductions claims (even though the fee for bringing such a claim is lower at £160). This is likely to be due to the fact that where small sums are at stake, claimants are not prepared to incur a fee to recover what is owed. This is despite the fact that they are likely to recover the fee if successful.
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