Tribunal claims have risen 90% following the abolition of Tribunal fees in July 2017 by the Supreme Court in the case of R (on the application of Unison) v Lord Chancellor.
Figures released by the Ministry of Justice show that in the last quarter of 2017 some 8,173 single claims were filed with the tribunal system. Disposals and outstanding caseloads of single claims increased by 21% and 66% respectively, compared to the same period in 2016.
The number of multiple employment tribunal claims received has risen by a staggering 467%. 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.
As ever prevention is better than cure, and employers should ensure they have robust and up-to-date employment polices in place. Additionally, consideration should be given to training for those likely to handle disciplinary and grievance procedures, to mitigate risk of successful claims.