It comes as no surprise that statistics recently published by the Ministry of Justice have shown a large increase in the number of Employment Tribunal claims against employers. Although statistics are published on a quarterly basis, the figures for October – December 2017 are of particular significance as they relate to the first full quarter since fees were abolished last summer.
Employment Tribunal Claims in summary:
- Single claims are up by 90% from 4,307 to 8,173
- Multiple claims are up by 467% from 5,628 to 31,921.
When Tribunal fees were abolished we expected to see an increase in the number of smaller claims that wouldn’t have been cost effective under the fee regime. Unsurprisingly therefore the number of claims for unauthorised deductions from wages is up by 219% from 2,809 to 8,967 representing almost a quarter of the total claims received for the period.While we aren’t yet back up to historic levels of claims (single claims were typically around 14-15,000 pre-fees) we are now halfway there and there is no reason why we shouldn’t expect further increases. All the more reason therefore for employers to make sure that their paperwork is in order and to address issues in the workplace before they become serious. As well as the obvious financial impact of legal costs, time spent by management and HR defending a Tribunal claim, reputational damage and staff morale can also prove costly and prevent your business from achieving its full potential.
The Employment Tribunal Fees refund scheme
Also included in the recent report were the preliminary statistics relating to the new Employment Tribunal Fees refund scheme. 4,800 refund applications were received in the period from the launch on 20 October 2017 until 31 December 2017. From these initial applications 3,337 refund payments have already been granted totalling £2.7 million.
If you are an employer concerned about the risk of tribunal claims, our expert employment law team can conduct a full review of your internal policies and procedures to ensure that you are your business are fully compliant with employment legislation.
For more information on our products and service offerings please visit our employment law advice pages.
The Backhouse Solicitors Employment Team
Tel: 01245 893400