Employment Tribunal statistics for October to December 2013 have been published which appear to show the impact of the introduction of fees on 29 July 2013. The number of claims received was just 9,801, compared to an average of 50,000 new claims per quarter in 2012/13 which works out as a 79 per cent decrease compared with the period October to December 2012.
The MOJ says that these figures need to be treated with ‘extreme caution’ as there is only five months of data available (August to December) following the introduction of fees and that there could be some claims that have been presented post July 2013 but have not yet been accepted because the fee remission application is outstanding.
However, if this drastic downward trend in claims is confirmed in later statistical releases it will give the trade union UNISON leverage to resurrect its earlier challenge to the fees regime. UNISON lost its recent judicial review application but the Judge commented on the lack of robust evidence and accepted that if the employment tribunal receipt statistics for July to September 2013, which also showed a significant decrease in claims, were ‘anything like accurate then the impact of the fees regime has been dramatic’. It is expected that in that case the system may well be changed without any need for further litigation.
Watch this space………….