Employment Tribunal statistics and Early Conciliation

The Ministry of Justice has published the quarterly employment tribunal statistics for October to December 2013 – the first full quarter since the introduction of fees for applications.  Compared with the same period in 2012 there was drop in the number of individual applications lodged of nearly two thirds.

Is this necessarily a good thing? Although there were quite a few claims that were never likely to succeed, and those imposed costs on employers, I don’t think that two thirds of claims were without any merit. Even if there were do we know if it is those claims that have dropped out? Knowing the character of some of the people who brought them I doubt it.

If that means that valid claims are not being made is that wholly good for employers? Will it allow those whose employment practices are poor to get away with that? Those employment practices are undercut those who do things properly and are anti-competitive. Is this the law of unintended consequences?

Early Conciliation through ACAS is coming in April – that may help good employers resolve disputes, but bad employers will probably ignore it, and there is little incentive for them to improve,

For advice please contact Neil Howlett or Andy Hambleton.