The decision to scrap employment tribunal fees this summer has resulted in a huge increase in the number of claims being made but also lengthened the time it takes for such cases to be dealt with.
In July of this year the Supreme Court declared that employment tribunal fees were unlawful and put an immediate end to them. Between this decision being made and September this year, single claims were up by 64% from the previous year.
The fees had cost between £390 and £1,200 per case and it was deemed that the charge was discriminatory as it could stop certain groups from being able to stand up for their employment rights.
Simon Thomas, Partner at Hutchinson Thomas said:
“The immediate increase in the number of claims shows that the fees were indeed stopping people from speaking up. The issue now will be for the heavier caseload to be dealt with so that resolutions can be sought.”
In the three years following the fees being introduced, 79% fewer cases were bought forwards. As a result of this drop, judicial and administrative resources dealing with employment tribunals were reduced; part of the reason why claimants are having to wait longer at the moment.
The Ministry of Justice is also having to administer the reimbursements of tribunal fees that were paid when the charges were in places.