Successful tribunals decline as fees bite
The success rate of employment tribunal claims has fallen since the introduction of fees, new statistics show.
Figures published by the Ministry of Justice last week show that 6% of around 21,500 cases were successful at hearing in the third quarter of 2015/16. The same proportion was unsuccessful.
In contrast, 11% of claims were successful in 2012/13, compared with 7% that were unsuccessful. The introduction of fees saw an immediate reduction in the proportion of successful cases in the following year.
Charges of up to £1,200 to claimants were introduced in July 2013. One of the aims was to discourage unmeritorious or weaker claims, but MoJ figures suggest this has yet to materialise.
In the final three months of 2015, 27% of claims were resolved at ACAS and 26% were withdrawn.
The MoJ says the effect on quality of claims will be dealt with by a review of the fees. The Gazette understands this was completed in November and was due to be published by the end of the year, but it has yet to materialise.
A spokesman said it is right that users pay towards the £71m cost of running the tribunal service, and recent research showed 80% of litigants in early conciliation were satisfied with the service.
Shadow justice minister Andy Slaughter said: ‘The fact that the proportion of successful claims at hearing stage has gone down since the fees were introduced highlights what a mess the government has made.’
The MoJ statistics revealed that efforts to increase access to the fee remission system – which covers the fee for those who can prove they cannot afford to pay – are starting to improve.
In October to December, of the 5,300 fees requested, a full or partial issue fee remission was awarded in a quarter of cases.