The impact of tribunal fees on the number of employment tribunal claims received is the subject of much speculation. The Ministry of Justice has published statistics for the period between July and September 2013. The headlines are as follows: • Between July and September 2013, 40,000 claims were received. This is in line with historical quarterly trends.
• Between January and May 2013 on average there were 17,000 employment tribunal claims received per month.
• In June 2013 there were 25,000 claims received and in July, a further 17,000.
• In August 2013 there were 7,000 claims received and 14,000 in September 2013.
The Ministry of Justice has stressed that these figures are only provisional and will be revised when the official December Tribunal Quarterly Publication is released. Some claims are known to be delayed in the system and so the August and September may well be higher.
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It is still early days to be able to comment on the true impact of the fees regime on the number of tribunal claims. It was inevitable that we would see an influx of claims prior to the changes coming in on 29 July 2013. This influx would as you might expect lead to fewer claims in August and September 2013. Although at first glance the drop seems substantial, this can be explained by the increase in claims lodged in June and July. The September figures don’t look that unusual, especially considering the claims caught in the system which are not included in these statistics. So far the statistics do not point to the dramatic impact we were all expecting. We will keep you updated.