Tribunal Fees & Delays
The introduction of employment tribunal and EAT fees on 29 July 2013 had a dramatic effect on the number of claims being presented, with the tribunal statistics for October to December 2013 revealing a drop of 79% in the numbers of cases received when compared to the corresponding period 12 months previously.
UNISON has now been granted permission to appeal against the High Court’s decision to reject its judicial review challenge to the introduction of the fees, in part it seems because of the very dramatic reduction in the number of claims.
For employees, the fee system is confusing and time consuming, and claims can take a long time to be processed and actually get started; for employers, it may be many months before they even become aware of the claim. In one case in which we have just been instructed the claim was lodged on 12 March 2014, but only sent to the employer on 22 May 2014, over two months later.
Together with the extension of the time limit which early conciliation provides, expect considerable uncertainty for all parties before knowing whether that claim has been sent to your employer or whether that former employee has brought that claim which they threatened.