The answer is …YES!!!!! Statistics comparing the periods October to December 2012 and October to December 2013 reveal there was a whopping 79% decrease in the numbers of employment tribunal claims being brought between the periods. Yes, you read this correctly – a 79% decrease! The statistics also reveal that between October and December 2013, the employment tribunals heard 36% more cases than the same period in 2012.
Is this the end of employment litigation? Do we need to throw our policy books in the bin? No, the numbers of cases will undoubtedly rise again. Just because the statistics suggest unwillingness on the part of claimants to bring claims, this does not mean that employers can fail to follow fair processes or stop training their managers. However, the figures are significant and the finger will be pointed at the introduction of fees. Fees, it would seem, have had their desired effect of reducing the numbers of claims being issued but is this at the expense of justice for all?
Our readers will remember the recent failed judicial review of fees by Unison a few weeks ago. Here the court pointed out it was too soon for it to make a definitive judgment as to whether fees were lawful – it simply did not have the evidence and suggested a ‘wait and see’ approach. Had Unison waited in bringing their challenge until statistical evidence was available, the decision could have been very different. The future of fees is still uncertain...
A full copy of HMCTS’ report can be found here.
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