The number of people considering bringing an employment tribunal in any given week has increased by nearly 30% in the year since fees were declared unlawful.
Figures from resolution services body the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service’s (Acas) annual report show that notifications to bring a claim have increased from 1,700 per week to 2,200 per week (29.4%) following the Supreme Court’s decision in July last year.
Anyone thinking of making an employment tribunal claim has to first notify Acas. Acas then tries to resolve the dispute without the need for legal action through its free early conciliation service.
The annual report, for the year ending 31 March 2018 and published today, notes that since the ruling a higher proportion of notifications have gone on to become claims lodged at an employment tribunal. Overall notifications to Acas increased by 19% year-on-year (an increase of 17,000) and the number of cases that went on to to a tribunal rose by 7,000 (a 39% increase).
Sir Brendan Barber, chair of Acas, said: ‘The number of people deciding to pursue a tribunal claim has definitely increased since the Supreme Court decision to scrap fees.’
The Acas helpline answered 783,000 calls. The top three topic categories were discipline, dismissal and grievances; contracts; and wages and the national minimum wage.
The heavy workload for employment tribunals has been under increased spotlight since the Supreme Court ruling.
In April, a survey of Employment Lawyers Association (ELA) members, revealed that many lawyers had experienced delays in tribunals, including in the average time taken to deal with the first stage of the litigation process and for parties receiving judgments.