The Ministry of Justice (“MOJ”) has released the latest Employment Tribunal (“ET”) quarterly statistics for April to June 2014.
Overall there has been a 70% drop in the number of single claims presented to ETs in comparison to the same quarter in the previous year. There were fewer claims presented in this quarter than in any other quarter since the MOJ began recording their statistical series in 2008/09. This is further evidence of the crippling effect that Employment Tribunal Fees have had on employees’ access to justice.
In comparison to the January to March 2014 quarter, the number of single claims presented to ETs for the current quarter has dropped by a third. This reduction may well be as a result of potential claims being settled via Early Conciliation; which was introduced on 6 April 2014, and became compulsory on 6 May 2014. Some would argue this is evidence of the success of Early Conciliation. We question how many of those employees agreeing to settlements via Early Conciliation received appropriate legal advice beforehand. There is a real risk that those employees settled for an amount that was significantly less than they were entitled to. Another reason for the reduction in claims may be the extra hurdle set by the Early Conciliation process acting as a deterrent.