Employment tribunal claims slump

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The Law Society have announced plans to examine the reforms of the employment tribunals process following a dramatic reduction in the number of claims since fees were introduced in July 2013. Following the introduction of the fees, applicants now wishing to mount a claim for unfair dismissal have to pay an application fee of £250 to lodge their claim, followed by a hearing fee £950 fee to have the matter adjudicated (although exemptions are available in certain circumstances where payment would cause financial hardship).

Figures recently published by HM Courts & Tribunals Service showed that the number of tribunal claims received between April and June 2014 was down 71%on the same period in 2013. The dramatic reduction in claims has caused many to question whether the reforms are hampering many workers’ and employees’ access to justice  The chair of the Law Society’s Employment Law Committee, Laurie Anstis, said ‘Unless you take the extreme position that 70% of tribunal cases in 2013 were spurious, it is hard to deny that there is a big group of people today who cannot enforce their rights’.

Employment specialist at DRN, director David Rogers, said “The reforms should not put off those with genuine grievances from making claims. Although the fees seem high,  many people can apply for fee exemption and we can often pursue a claim on a no win no fee agreement or on a fixed cost basis. If your claim is successful then the employment tribunal can order your employer to compensate you for the fees, in addition to any other compensation which you have been awarded. If you think you might have a claim, it is still certainly worthwhile speaking to an employment lawyer”.

Our employment specialists, David Rogers and Matthew Finley, are experienced advocates and litigators and have many years’ experience in representing both employers and employees in tribunal cases. If you feel that you have been treated unfairly whilst at work then give David or Matthew a call, they will assess your case free of charge and give you preliminary advice on the strengths of your case. Contact David on 01282 433241 (Burnley) or Matt on 01282 864500 (Colne).