Employment alert email
Since July 2013, claimants have been required to pay a fee in order to issue a claim in the Employment Tribunal or for a full merits hearing to be held. By way of reminder, in single claimant claims, Type A or lower value claims (e.g. unpaid wages, redundancy payments and unpaid notice) the fee to issue a claim is £160 with an additional hearing fee of £230. Type B claims (e.g. unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistleblowing) are subject to an issue fee of £250 and a hearing fee of £950.
At the time Tribunal fees were introduced there was much speculation as to how they might impact the volume of claims. We now have some idea.
Figures released by the Ministry of Justice today show that there was a 79% drop in the number of claims lodged with the Tribunal from October to December 2013 (compared with the same period in 2012). The number of single claims has dropped from a monthly average of between 4,000-5,000, to 1,700.
There is, of course, no way of knowing whether the introduction of fees has helped prevent frivolous or vexatious claims or whether claimants with reasonable claims have been discouraged from seeking justice. Regardless, the figures released today would, on the face of it, appear to be good news for employers (and bad news for employment lawyers!).