Employment cases drop dramatically after the introduction of tribunal fees.

In May 2013, we blogged about the introduction of charges from 29 July 2013 to raise or appeal a claim at the Employment Tribunal.  The Law Society of Scotland has since noted that new cases lodged with the UK’s Employment Tribunals have plummeted by about three quarters.

The new fee structure involves payment of an issue fee when the claim is submitted and a hearings fee to be paid prior to the full merits hearing.

The Ministry of Justice’s Tribunal Statistics Quarterly for October to December 2013 reveal that 9,801 claims were received in that period, some 79% fewer than in the same period of 2012 and 75% fewer than the previous quarter.  Clearly, the introduction of fees is having a dramatic impact.

Claimants on a low income may not be required to pay the full fees and the Government has stated it is committed to reviewing the fee structure once implemented to assess its impact, in order to consider if changes are needed.

The Government’s reasons for the reforms are said to be to avoid “drawn-out disputes” which are “very emotionally damaging for workers and employees, as well as being financially damaging for employers”.  Few would argue with that but those aims might have been achieved by more robust case management, weeding out weak cases and striking out cases for unreasonable behaviour, rather than introducing a system which potentially deters those with genuine cases from enforcing their rights, purely for financial reasons.

This entry was posted in Legal and tagged , , by Paul Neilly. Bookmark the permalink.

About Paul Neilly

Paul’s first degree was a BA Honours in Financial Services following which he spent five years working for a large insurance company as a pensions specialist. He then completed his law degree at the University of Strathclyde and Diploma in Legal Practice at the Glasgow Graduate School of Law. Paul subsequently joined Mitchells Roberton as a trainee in July 2006 and qualified as a solicitor in September 2008. Principally concerned with civil litigation, Paul specialises in contract disputes, landlord and tenant issues (commercial and residential), debt recovery, family law, employment law and personal injury claims. He also handles cases involving Adults with Incapacity. Paul regularly appears in the Sheriff Courts throughout Scotland and has experience of appearing before Licensing Boards and instructing matters in the Court of Session. Being a general civil litigator Paul is keenly aware of the need to keep step with developments in the law and legal education. This led Paul to join the committee of TANQ, the Trainee and Newly Qualified Society of the Royal Faculty of Procurators in Glasgow, in which role Paul currently organises seminars and networking events for its members. Paul is married with a young son and daughter. In his spare time he enjoys cooking, reading and watching sport, particularly following the exploits of the national football and rugby teams, although this is more of a vocation than a source of enjoyment.

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