philipjameslewis

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Tribunal claims down by 70 per cent

Labour & European Law

Review

Employment tribunal statistics published by the Ministry of Justice last week have revealed a staggering 70 per cent drop in single claims received by tribunals.

The figures reveal that the number of single claims received from April to June 2014 was 3,792 – 70 per cent fewer than in the same period of 2013. Early Conciliation came into force on 6 April 2014 making it mandatory for a prospective claimant to contact ACAS before lodging an employment tribunal claim. Although it is too early to tell the impact of early conciliation on tribunal claims (in addition to fees introduced in July 2013) it is interesting to note that the latest quarterly statistics are even lower than the previous quarter. The statistics for the period January to March 2014 showed a drop of 59 per cent in the number of single claims received compared to the same period in 2013 (see weekly LELR 374 for more details).

The number of claims disposed of (which means those determined by a tribunal, withdrawn or settled) has also declined in the same period. The report shows that tribunals disposed of 16,797 claims during April to June 2014, half those in the same period for 2013. The number of disposals for single claims (claims made by a single individual) decreased by 57 per cent, while the number for multiple claims (two or more people bringing proceedings arising out of the same facts) decreased by 47 per cent.

Of the jurisdictional complaints disposed of:

• 16 per cent were for unauthorised deductions of wages
• 15 per cent were for unfair dismissal
• 13 per cent were for equal pay
• 11 per cent were associated with working time.

In 2013 to14, the Employment Appeal Tribunal received 1,721 appeals (25 per cent fewer than 2012/13) and disposed of 1,684 appeals (22 per cent fewer than 2012 to13).

The report claims that “the trend in single claims has been declining for the last five years, while the trend in multiple claims is more volatile due to large numbers of claims against a single employer which can skew the national figures”. It is interesting that the Government should rely on these facts now when less than five years ago it claimed “a dramatic increase in the number of claims submitted to employment tribunals “as justification for introducing fees”.

Jo Seery at Thompsons solicitors said: “It is not surprising, given the forthcoming hearing in the Court of Appeal on the judicial review application on tribunal fees, that the Government is now trying to explain away the devastating impact that the fees have had on workers’ access to justice.”

To read the summary, go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/352914/tribunal-statistics-quarterly-april-june-2014.pdf

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This entry was posted on September 18, 2014 by .
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A continually-updated, annotated bibliography of occupational cancer research produced by Hazards magazine, the Alliance for Cancer Prevention and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

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