Employment tribunal disputes on the rise

15 December, 2017

Employers beware – figures released yesterday by the Ministry of Justice show that the number of employment tribunal claims has more than doubled since the abolition of tribunal fees in July 2017, following the Unison decision. 

Between July and September 2017 the numbers of single claims from individuals increased from 4,241 (between April and June) to 7,042.

Meanwhile, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) has seen a large rise in the numbers of ET1s received from around 350 per week to up to 700 per week.

The figures demonstrate that individuals are capitalising on the effect of the Unison decision, in which the Supreme Court (overturning previous High Court and Court of Appeal decisions) ruled that the tribunal fee system deterred individuals from bringing claims and as such was unlawful.

Currently, another big impact on the employment tribunal system is the seemingly endless procession of cases concerning the hot topic of self-employment vs employment. The Uber case has received substantial media coverage and the case of Jess varnish against British Cycling is another example of a case covering a wide spectrum of employment  issues (including, bullying, discrimination, and employment status issues).

The take home for employers  – as employees are increasingly exercising their rights, businesses must remain diligent in their management and training of employees because the costs of litigation can be substantial.

For advice on employment issues please contact Patrick.glencross@crippspg.co.uk.