Compared to the 3 months from October to December in 2016, the number of employment claims received in tribunals shot up by 90% in the three months to December 2017. This follows the even bigger 120% increase in tribunal claims during the three months prior.
Of the types of claims received, equal pay claims made a significant rise, accounting for approximately 13% of the claims received. It is quite likely this is ahead of the gender pay gap reporting deadline, a topic which is prominently affecting the supermarket giants and other well-known brands.
A claim that increased dramatically was race discrimination. The number of claims for this increased by nearly 57% compared to the same quarter in the previous year!
The figures from the Ministry of Justice are creating headlines but are perhaps not unexpected, as the abolishment of fees in Summer 2017 was met with trepidation by many employers.
However, ACAS set up the free and compulsory ‘Early Conciliation’ service at the same time that the fees were originally introduced, and this scheme is set to continue. As a result, although claims are shooting upwards, they are not expected to reach the same overall levels they were at before tribunal fees were introduced.
Although this may be good news, in real terms it does mean that workers still have easy access to a much more straightforward remedial service than they used to, and now if they did decide to go ‘all the way’, fees are no longer be a deterrent.
If you need support with negotiating at the conciliation stage or are concerned about a potential tribunal claim, we have experts who can help review your circumstances and provide you with practical support and advice. Call 0844 324 5840 or contact us online to find out how we can help your business.