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Employment tribunal cases continue to rise

News and ViewsNewsEmployment tribunal cases continue to rise

This article was first published by The Times’ Brief.

Employment tribunal claims double after scrapping of fees

Employment tribunal cases continued to rocket after claim fees were ruled unlawful last year, with figures released yesterday showing that they nearly doubled.

Government statistics for the final quarter of last year revealed that employment tribunal claims involving individuals rose by 90 per cent compared with the same period in 2016, while claims involving multiple litigants increased four-fold.

The Ministry of Justice also revealed that 4,800 claimants had applied for a refund of fees that they had paid between July 2013 and last July. Of those, 3,400 refunds have been made totalling £2.8 million.

Lawyers said that there was a 64 per cent rise in claims being brought immediately after the Supreme Court ruled that the fees were unlawful in July last year.

‘Unfortunately this has also made for a corresponding backlog in claims,’ Helen Crossland, an employment law partner at the London law firm Seddons, said.

She said: ‘One consequence that parties will need to factor into their case strategy is the fact they will have to wait much longer for hearings to be listed and for applications – including to address unmeritorious claims – to be processed.’

Nicholas Le Riche, a partner at the London law firm Bircham Dyson Bell, said the latest increase in tribunal claims ‘underlines the impact that the previous fee regime had. This increase, coming off the back of last quarter’s large increase, suggests that the level of claims will return to the levels seen prior to the introduction of fees for the foreseeable future and underlines to businesses the importance of following fair procedures when dismissing staff.’

The Ministry of Justice also reported that there was a 21 per cent rise in immigration and asylum tribunals compared over the same period, while there was a negligible decrease of 1 per cent in social security and child support tribunal cases.

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