It comes as no surprise that the number of Employment Tribunal claims is on the rise, as highlighted by the Ministry of Justice’s recent publication of their quarterly statistics. The statistics for the period January to March 2018 show that compared with the same period in 2017, the number of single tribunal claims increased by over 100%.
As a result, the Judicial Appointments Commission have launched a recruitment drive to recruit over 50 new judges, the first time the Employment Tribunal have recruited judges in over 5 years.
The publication of these statistics comes after ACAS published information earlier this year showing that the number of ACAS Early Conciliation claims have significantly increased, which explains in part why members of staff at ACAS went on strike last month because of concerns about their workloads.
Employers should not be surprised by these significant increases as they were highly anticipated following the Supreme Court’s declaration on 26th July 2017 that fees in the Employment Tribunal were unlawful.
However, just because fees in the Employment Tribunal have been abolished, it does not mean that employers suddenly committing breaches of employment law. Disputes clearly existed prior to the abolition of tribunal fees. The question therefore for employers is not just how to defend a tribunal claim, but how to address any issues of unrest, disturbance or conflict in the workplace.
As employment law is one of the fastest moving areas of law in the UK and the obligations businesses face is constantly changing, it is paramount employers ensure they have taken all necessary steps to protect themselves if a dispute or claim arises in the workplace.
Firms looking for advice on HR and employment law issues can speak to Miss Sally Morris via 01905 610410 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.