The number of people making employment tribunal claims has risen by 40% in the past year. According to figures from the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas), a resolution services body, the number of people deciding to lodge employment tribunal claims rose to almost 40,000 over the 12 months to 31 March 2019
The service also reported a 21% increase in the number of notifications it received compared. The service now deals with 132,000 notifications a year, amounting to more than 2,500 a week.
As of 2014, anyone thinking of making an employment tribunal claim first has to notify Acas. The organisation then tries to resolve the dispute through its early conciliation service. Not all notifications, therefore, result in a claim being lodged.
Employment tribunal fees were declared unlawful by the Supreme Court in July 2017 and since then demand for Acas’ services has continued to rise.
Acas chair Sir Brendan Barber described the year as ’another very busy period for our individual dispute resolution service following the abolition of tribunal fees’.
Last month, solicitors complained that employment tribunals are being delayed by months as courts struggle to deal with the influx of claims. Over 77% of people who were surveyed by the Employment Lawyers Association said that final hearings were being listed over a year after the issue of a claim and more than 66% of respondents said tribunals are taking longer to deal with the service of claims.