Employment Tribunals are feeling the Pressure as claims Increase
Following the scrapping of Employment Tribunal fees in July 2017 there has been a 64% increase in claims brought from July to December last year according to Government statistics. In addition, claims for unlawful deduction from wages have increased dramatically, from 549 in July 2017 to 2,027 by the end of 2017.
Whilst there has been a clear rise in Tribunal claims, the Tribunal system has not received an increase in funding. This is likely to increase the amount of time it takes for cases to pass through the system. This issue appears to be affecting all Tribunals, particularly those in the Midlands, following the closure of the Tribunals in Huntingdon and Bedford.
We have enquired with Watford Employment Tribunal regarding their caseload and were informed that cases that fall under Watford’s remit will not be able to obtain a hearing date at Watford for the foreseeable future due to lack of Judges and an increased number of claims. In addition, any hearings that require listing at Cambridge will not be listed until the end of 2018. The only Tribunal venues that have availability (albeit from June onwards) will be Bury St Edmunds and Norwich.
The Justice Secretary has hinted that employment tribunal fees may be reinstated in some shape or form whilst ensuring that tribunal fees remain accessible and affordable. However, given the current uncertainty over Brexit and the Parliamentary time that this issue will take up, it seems unlikely that a new fees scheme will be introduced in the near future.
If you would like further information on this topic, or require any help from our Employment team, please contact Millie Kempley or you can give us a call on 0345 070 6000.