As people managers, it’s worth a look at these numbers to see what impact the abolishment of Tribunal Fees has had.
Tribunal Statistics April to June 2018
The Ministry of Justice has published statistics and here are the key figures:
- the number of single claims lodged increased by 165% compared with the same quarter last year;
- the number of single claims outstanding rose by 130% compared with the same quarter last year. HM Courts & Tribunal Service is in the process of recruiting more employment judges, which will help reduce the backlog in the medium to longer term;
- disability discrimination cases had the largest average award (£30,700). Religious discrimination claims had the lowest average award (£5,100). The average award for unfair dismissal awards was £15,007.
Tribunal fees were abolished in July 2017 which means that there is no longer a fee to be paid for an individual to bring any type of claim to an Employment Tribunal and this is likely to be a major factor is the sharp increase in claims.
What does this mean for employers?
With the removal of tribunal fees, it is likely as a Company that you may receive more claims from employees/ex-employees than in previous years, as individuals are no longer put off making a claim because they cannot afford the fee. In addition, it could result in an increase in the number of spurious claims made as people can lodge a claim without any evidence to support their case.
Employers need to ensure that they are taking steps to prevent them being taken to tribunal initially. Providing the right documentation, having policies in place and following these procedures correctly will reduce the likelihood of facing a claim.
The reputational damage of ending up in front of an employment tribunal has become greater due to the introduction of decisions being published online. This lets anyone view the decision and the scrutiny of business practices normally carried out by a tribunal. Taking steps to prevent unlawful treatment in the business will reduce the many risks of going before a tribunal.