Employment Claims Drop

Employment related claims against employer’s such as unfair dismissal has almost halved with figures showing that there has been a drop in such claims by 55%. This fall in the number of claims is said to be due to the introduction of the tribunal fees of last summer according to many law firms. They beleive the sharp drop of claims brought is a reflection of the  charges which are imposed for the applications and attending a hearing. It is also believed that the decline is a reflection of the surge of claims which were filed in order to beat the fee introduction.

If you wish to bring a claim the standard fee for lodging the claim is £160 and £260 for a tribunal hearing regarding basic claims. There are however a set of higher fees which have been introduced for employed who wish to challenge their dismissal on the ground of unfair dismissal, racial or sexual discrimination in the work place as well as whistleblowing. Such claims face a charge of £250 to file a claim and a staggering £950 in order for the hearing to take place.

The Ministry of Justice believe that the Employment Tribunal Service charges are due to save millions of pounds a year. This is however disputed by Unison who launched a judicial review procedure which challenges the legality of the charges which is set to be resolved by a judgement by the high court.

Head of employment law at specialist law firm Hugh James, Emma Burns, stated that there is currently a great level of uncertainty as to the extent of the legality of the fees introduced. The result of a judgement pronounce the fees ultra vires (unlawful) is likely to be followed by a wave of employment claims of ex-employees pursuing claims against their employers.

Prolonged work related disputes can have detrimental financial effect on both the worker and the employer court fees and legal representation often staggers up to astronomical amounts pretty quickly. The introduction of the fees are even more of a reason for employers and ex-employees to reconsider and think carefully prior to launching a claim of whether the risk justifies that pursued cause. Figures released by the Ministry of Justice reveal that the number of claims accepted by the Employment Tribunal Service dropped by 55% in August down from 17,153 in July.


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