13 June 2019 saw the release of the Employment Tribunal statistics for January to March 2019 inclusive, which showed again a steady quarter-on-quarter increase in claims presented to the Employment Tribunal compared to the same period in 2018.
Single Employment Tribunal claims – receipts, disposals and caseload outstanding – all increased, by 6%, 22% and 39% respectively, compared to a year ago. Multiple Employment Tribunal claims – receipts and caseload outstanding – rose, 13% and 19% respectively, while disposals fell by 16%.
From the launch of the Employment Tribunal fee refund scheme in October 2017, three months after the abolition of fees in July 2017, there were 22,000 applications for refunds received and 21,700 refund payments made to 31 March 2019, with a total value of £17.3m.
Given the increase in claims presented to the Employment Tribunal and the vast number of applications for fee refunds, heralding an almost unprecedented workload for the Tribunal, it is perhaps unsurprising that adjournments and postponements of cases increased 5% and 13% respectively in 2018/2019 compared with 2017/2018, with rises seen across all tribunals where the information is recorded.
Rather interestingly, the most common jurisdictional complaint disposed of between January to March 2019 was for unauthorised deductions from wages, which would include claims for holiday pay; the very type of claim that the Supreme Court heard from workers were cost-prohibitive prior to abolishing Employment Tribunal fees in July 2017.
The statistics continue to show a renewed willingness of workers to pursue their employment rights within the Employment Tribunal now that there are no fees associated with bringing a claim and that each party, in general, will bear its own costs.