The employment tribunal statistics for the period October to December 2015 have recently been published by the Ministry of Justice. Following the introduction of employment tribunal fees almost three years ago and the now mandatory early conciliation procedure, the statistics highlight the sustained impact both fees and early conciliation have had on the number of employment claims being received.
Whilst the statistics highlight that there was a slight increase in claims received in October to December from the historical all-time low of quarter 1 of 2015, the number of claims being received is still materially lower than the pre-fees era.
For example, the average number of claims received per quarter in 2012/2013 was 52,000, compared with the current average of 15,300. Only 4,388 single claims were received by the Employment Tribunal during the relevant period – a mere three more cases than the same period in 2014 and the largest proportion of disposals was attributed to ACAS Conciliated Settlements (27%).
Of those received, 18% were for unauthorised deductions, 17% for equal pay, 14% for Working Time issues and 14% for unfair dismissals.
The apparent settled trend in claims received will likely be welcomed by businesses and employers, however on 26 February 2016 Unison was granted permission to appeal its ongoing challenge to the fees system to the Supreme Court, and there may therefore be further developments to come.