It has now been a full year since tribunal fees were abolished by the Supreme Court after it was found that they were a barrier to justice and were in fact, indirectly discriminatory towards women.
Refund application scheme
When the tribunal claim fees were abolished, a refund application scheme was launched. So far 14,500 applications have been made and 12,400 refunds have been issued, totalling a value of £10.6 million.
Removal of tribunal fees
The Ministry of Justice have now released figures demonstrating how the removal of the fees has impacted on the tribunal system. Single claims more than doubled and multiple claims quadrupled (but much of this is attributed to a large-scale claim for an airline). Actual caseloads generated by single claims is believed to have risen by 130%, and caseloads for multiple claims is believed to have risen by 34%.
The total number of employment tribunal claims lodged, tripled in the three months between April and June, compared to the same quarter in 2017. Over 2017/18, the average award for successful disability discrimination cases was £30,700. The largest award made for this type of claim was £242,000.
Tribunal cases taking longer
The results are causing concern among employment lawyers, as they suggest the system is struggling to cope because cases are taking longer to come to justice. This may also put strain on employers; both those who are waiting to see if a claim has been submitted and those who are waiting for tribunal dates.
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