Since the employment tribunal (ET) fees were abolished in July 2017, there has been a significant increase in the number of employment tribunal claims being lodged.

The latest quarterly statistics from the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) for the period between April and June 2018 have now been published. Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) recorded an increase in receipts in April to June 2018, up 34% when compared to the same quarter in 2017.

The latest ET statistics show that the number of single employment claims (e.g. a claim of unfair dismissal or an unlawful deduction of wage) increased by 165% compared with the same quarter last year and the number of single employment claims outstanding rose by 130% compared with the same quarter last yea,.

The number of multiple claims (e.g. equal pay cases like those against Asda and Tesco, or failures to collectively consult) more than quadrupled (up 344%) this quarter. This increase may not be down to the abolition of the ET fees though, as such claims attracted a lower fee level due to the overlap in claim facts, but are linked to the high profile claims against super stores and airlines.

In terms of compensation awards, disability discrimination cases had the largest average award (£30,700) compared to other types of discrimination. The average award for an unfair dismissal was £15,007.

The most common type of claim brought between April and June 2018 was unauthorised deductions of wages, the same as in the same quarter last year.

Following the abolishment of ET fees a refund scheme was set up for those who paid fees in respect of a tribunal claim or appeal since they were introduced in July 2013.The latest quarterly statistics show that from the launch of this refund scheme there were 14,500 applications for refunds received and 12,400 refund payments made, with a total value of £10,615,000.

It is not surprising that there has been an increase in the number of ET claims being brought since the abolition of the ET fees. Employers are advised to take note of the latest MOJ statistics and to get the legal advice they need to ensure compliance and adherence with employment legislation and avoid costly claims.