Fewer than one in five applications for employment tribunal fee reductions are successful, according to new government figures.
Statistics released yesterday by the Ministry of Justice show fewer than 4,000 of the 21,000 cases in which issue fees were expected were awarded a full or partial remission in 2014/15. In 14,510 cases (69%) the issue fee was paid in full, and in the remaining cases the claim was not taken further.
In 2014/15, 13,425 hearing fees were requested by the court service, of which 34% were paid in full and 17% were granted a fee remission of some kind.
Fees were introduced for claims submitted to an employment tribunal on or after 29 July 2013, so this is the first full year in which the remission system can be judged.
Issue fees for simpler type-A claims are £160, with hearing fees set at £230.
For more complicated cases, the issue and hearing fees are £250 and £950 respectively.
Fee remission was introduced to help claimants who were struggling to afford the fees to cover at least some of the cost. They were cited by ministers as proof of the fairness of the scheme when it was first introduced.
The figures show that of the 9,085 remission applications submitted in 2014/15, 43% of issue fees were fully or partially successful, with 76% of hearing fee applications at least partly successful.
In the employment appeal tribunal, 382 hearing fees were requested, of which 282 were paid in full.
Overall, MoJ figures confirm a significant and ongoing fall in the number of employment tribunal claims received. The number of single claims received in 2014/15 was 16,456 – a 52% decrease compared with 2013/14.
A total of 44,850 multiple claims were received in 2014/15, down 37% on 2013/14. These multiple claims were related to a total of 2,062 multiple claims cases, which is down 34% on 2013/14.
Monthly employment tribunal receipts have crept up gradually since June 2014 but are still fewer than 5,000 – compared with 25,000 recorded just prior to the introduction of fees.