15 December 2017
Employment tribunals claims soar 66% after fees scrapped
The number of people taking their employers to court has risen by almost two thirds since tribunal fees were declared unlawful, new figures show.
Official statistics for England and Wales find that the number of claims rose by 66% for the quarter up to October, soaring to 7,042 from 4,241 between March and June.
The Courts Service data also reveals that, following the Supreme Court ruling in July that deemed tribunal fees unlawful, outstanding caseloads have risen by 37%.
However, Lord Chancellor David Lidington states that the Government is still intending to charge fees.
Addressing the justice select committee in October, he said: "I think it is necessary as a contribution to costs. It is also necessary and sensible as a deterrent to frivolous or vexatious litigation and that was something the court itself acknowledged.
"The key lesson that I took from the judgment was that fees are ... a reasonable way in which to secure a contribution towards the running costs of the courts and tribunals service but that, in setting the level of fees, the government needs to be very careful in regard to questions of access and affordability."
In light of the rising number of claims being brought, experts are urging employers to heavily scrutinise their employment practices.