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New figures reveal a significant increase in the number of Employment Tribunal claims brought in the period of April to June 2018.
The number of claims accept by the Employment Tribunal has been rising ever since Employment Tribunal fees were scrapped. According to the latest figures from the Ministry of Justice, in the 2017/18 financial year there were 109,698 claims accepted – a 23% increase from the 88,476 accepted in 2016/17. In 2015/16 - the year before tribunal fees ended - the number of claims accepted was just 83,031.
In the 12 months up to June 2018, 149,628 claims were accepted in total, which may indicate that another rise is due next year.
At the same time, new figures released by Acas - the first point of contact for employees planning to make a claim – show that it has fielded approximately 700 additional complaints each week since Employment Tribunal fees were removed.
Acas had been handling 1,700 complaints per week. According to recent reports, that figure is now averaging 2,400 new complaints per week, with 25% of these progressing to claims in the Employment Tribunal.
The growth in claims, and Acas early conciliation activity, means that employers are likely to find more of their time and resources being taken up as a result. There are often strategic actions that employers can take at an early stage to either reach a cost-effective settlement or have a claim struck out. Alternatively, training can be given to HR staff and managers to ensure that internal procedures are being carried out effectively.