Figures just reported show the number of Employment Tribunal claims are rising fast since the fee regime was repealed in July 2017.
This matches our own experience, with increasing delays in the processing and case management of claims as a result of the growing backlog.
The pressure on ACAS - which received significant investment when fees were first introduced to assist with the disposal of matters before the claim and hearing stage - has also grown. According to reports, an average of 2,400 new enquires are made through ACAS each week with 25% progressing to full claims.
The Employment Tribunal remains a last port of call for disgruntled employees, but still not one that many will relish. Although there may be no fees charged to issue a claim, if legal advice is sought then costs can rise rapidly. Add to this the risk of a costs award being made against claimants who bring false or malicious claims, the consequences of pursuing an employment tribunal can be financially costly as well as time intensive.
If you have a claim raised against your organisation, either at ACAS early conciliation stage or otherwise, please contact us for initial advice and direction on how best to respond. Remember, even though the Tribunal system may be slow, time is of the essence when responding to issued claims.
To discuss further contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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It comes as the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) - the first point of contact when making a claim - revealed it has received around 700 extra complaints per week since fees were abolished. According to the minutes of the national user group on employment tribunals, Acas had previously been receiving 1,700 enquiries per week but is now dealing with around 2,400 (an increase of around 40%). Of these, 25% were moving onto full employment tribunal claims. The figures cover a 12-month period ending May 2018.