Government reforms (3): Tribunal claims

What do we already know?

We updated you in our July 2017 Newsflash Tribunal fees unlawful – enormous impact that the Supreme Court ruled that Tribunal fees are unlawful and abolished them, back-dated to their inception in July 2013.

We also warned that Tribunals could be about to be deluged by new and backdated claims, which would be a massive challenge for employers, employment lawyers and the Tribunal service (which has undergone major cuts in its Employment Judges and admin staff as their work has declined since the introduction of the fees).

What’s new?

Ministry of Justice statistics for the period October to December 2017 show that Tribunal claims have risen 90% following the abolition of Tribunal fees. Since the abolition of fees, around 3,000 new cases have been issued every month. (However, this is still significantly lower than the number of cases issued before the introduction of Tribunal fees, when the average was around 5,000 new cases each month).

The statistics also show that during this quarter:

  • There has been a 66% increase in the outstanding caseload. The number of single claims and disposals received by Tribunals rose by 90% and 21% respectively against the same period in 2016.
  • The number of multiple Tribunal claims received has risen by a staggering 467%. However, it is thought this is largely due to the high volume of holiday pay cases presented in 2017.

This increase has caused a significant backlog of claims. Parties will need to factor into their case strategy that they will likely have a much longer waiting period for claims to be processed and hearings scheduled.

Please do contact Luke Menzies or any member of the team on 0117 325 0526 or email us if you would like advice on how to handle your Tribunal claims, or, better still, their prevention!