Huge fall in tribunal claims
Since July 2013 workers have had to pay substantial fees to employment tribunals in order to commence claims unless they satisfy criteria for remission from fees. This often means that workers who have lost their job (for example) have had to pay up to £1,200 in fees to employment tribunals in order to start proceedings and then to proceed to a hearing.
Provisional statistics published by the Ministry of Justice have revealed that the number of employment tribunal claims has fallen by a massive 79%. Between October and December 2013 only 9,801 claims were made to employment tribunals as compared with 45,710 for the same quarter in 2012.
It appears that women are among the biggest losers with the Ministry of Justice statistics showing a sharp fall in claims for sex discrimination, pregnancy related dismissal and equal treatment for part time workers. Women are more likely to work part time in lower paid jobs and are therefore less able to afford high level fees. However, many women lose out on the ability to claim remission from fees owing to their partner’s earnings. The eligibility for fee remission is calculated on the basis of household rather than individual income. Tighter restrictions on eligibility for fee remissions introduced in October 2013 mean that households with savings of £3,000 or more are no longer entitled to any remission.