After the Supreme Court ruled that fees in employment tribunal claims were illegal back in July 2017, ACAS has released its latest statistics on early conciliation, employment tribunal claims and settlements. They certainly make interesting reading.
An employment law claim cannot move forward until ACAS has been informed and early conciliation has ended. Early conciliation can be requested by either the employee or the employer. Total notifications have risen by 28% since tribunal fees were removed.
This may seem like a large increase but the majority of the claims are for unpaid wages or holiday pay. The introduction of tribunal fees meant that many people who had valid claims could not afford to make them, so this increase is not surprising.
In addition, we can see the effect of early conciliation on employment tribunal claims in their latest statistics.
Of claims at early conciliation from April 2017 to December 2017, 17% settled at this stage and 26% went forward to tribunal.
Tribunal claims are banded into claim tracks. The type of track depends on the issues in the claim.
Fast track claims are usually monetary claims such as unpaid wages or holiday pay. Standard track claims must contain a claim of unfair dismissal and open track cases must contain a claim for discrimination.
Claims in all tracks have increased.
- Fast Track claims have increased by 137%
- Standard track claims have increased by 64%
- Open track claims have increased by 56%
This increase in claims does show that access to justice for employees was restricted during the time that employment tribunal fees were in place.
During the same period of time, 21% of claims were settled before tribunal, 7% were decided at employment tribunal and 67% were still in progress.