The government has released data relating to employment tribunal claims for the period July – September 2013 which reveals, somewhat unsurprisingly, that there has been a reduction in the number of claims lodged following the introduction of employment tribunal fees in July 2013. The Ministry of Justice figures reveal that in total there has been a 17% reduction in the number of claims lodged compared with the same period in 2012. Unfair dismissal and failure to inform or consult on redundancy claims have fallen by around 40%.

When these figures are looked at in the context of numbers from the previous quarter there is a comprehensive drop in the number of claims submitted. 7,000 claims were submitted in August and 14,000 in September compared with around 25,000 in June, when there was a surge in the number of claims presented prior to fees being introduced. Some commentators have suggested that when the distorting effect of this surge in June is accounted for, then the total reduction in the number of claims is nearer to 20% month on month since the introduction of fees.

Slightly more in depth analysis of the types of claims lodged reveals that the decrease has been most marked in relation to “single” as opposed to “multiple” claims. The marked decrease in single claims is possibly attributable to multiple claims being much more likely to attract trade union backing (and therefore funding).

All in all, these figures illustrate what most had already predicted, that the introduction of a fee into the employment tribunal system would lead to a reduction in the number of claims lodged.

Julie Keir

Practice Development Lawyer at Brodies LLP
As a Practice Development Lawyer Julie is responsible for developing and maintaining Brodies Workbox, our award-winning online HR and employment law resource.
Julie Keir