As you will be aware if you read our last blog, as of 29 July 2013, a fee has been introduced for any claimant submitting an Employment Tribunal claim.  It was thought that the introduction of fees would impact the number of people making claims, and it appears to have done just that.

Last week the Ministry of Justice published the quarterly employment tribunal statistics for October through to December 2013. These results showed a 79% drop (compared to the same period in 2012) in the number of applications made.  The number of single claims has dropped from a monthly average of 4,000 – 5,000, down to 1,700, showing a drop of approximately 63%. The previous quarter, July-September, saw an increase in claims as many rushed to lodge claims before the introduction of fees in July 2013.

On top of this, the number of Tribunal claims being submitted could be affected further from next month, with the introduction of mandatory conciliation through ACAS, which will be mandatory for claims after 6th May 2014.

Whilst the news in relation to the decrease in the number of claims should be reassuring to employers, it will be interesting to see whether this continues, once, amongst other issues, the Tribunal has caught up with the backlog of claims which have been submitted with applications for remission.  From our own experience, we are aware that claims are taking longer to process, with the Tribunal spending time sifting and considering applications for remission.   We have had personal experience of a case, which we submitted in September, together with a Remission Application to which we have only just received the Response, some 5 months later!

We have not yet seen the full effects of tribunal fees or the introduction of mandatory conciliation, so for now we will have to just wait and see. However, if you have any concerns regarding any of the issues raised or just want to find out more information please contact Danielle Ayres on 0161 930 5151.

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