Issue date
11 Sep 2014

New employment tribunal statistics published today (Thursday) show that the new system of charging upfront fees is resulting in a major reduction in claims, says the TUC.

The statistics are the third quarterly set of figures since the new fees system was introduced and show that women, low-paid workers, disabled people, and black and asian workers are the big losers.

Individual claims were down overall by 70 per cent (from 12,727 to 3,792) in April to June 2014 compared to the same period in 2013.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Early conciliation through Acas is a welcome step that is helping in some cases when things go wrong at work, but it can’t explain such a large fall in the number of employment tribunals. The fees system is a victory for Britain’s bad bosses who are getting away with harassment and abuse of workers.

“Tribunal fees are pricing workers out of justice and have created a barrier to basic rights at work. The government has put Britain in a race to the bottom that is creating an economy based on zero-hours jobs and zero-rights for workers.”

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Employment tribunal claims: change from second quarter 2013 (pre-fees) to second quarter 2014 (post-fees)

Type of claim

Number of claims

April-June 2013

Number of claims April-June 2014

Per cent fall

Age discrimination

621

392

37%

Breach of contract

6,297

1,928

69%

Disability discrimination

1,801

671

63%

National minimum wage

108

45

58%

Part time regulations

447

131

71%

Race discrimination

1,089

422

61%

Religion and belief discrimination

220

79

64%

Sex discrimination

6,310

591

91%

Sexual orientation discrimination

158

53

66%

Pregnancy discrimination

376

203

46%

Unfair deduction from wages

9,797

2,545

74%

Unfair dismissal

11,258

2,919

74%

- A recent TUC report on the problems caused by tribunal fees What Price Justice? can be found at: http://www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/TUC_Report_At_what_price_justice.pdf

- Recent research from Citizens Advice found that seven in ten potentially successful cases are not pursued by people at employment tribunals. In the majority of cases brought to Citizens Advice bureaux, fees or costs were deterring people from pursuing claims. More information can be found at: http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/index/pressoffice/press_index/press_20140727.htm

- The government has set up a fees remission scheme to help low-paid workers with the cost of fees. However, the TUC believes that the system is deeply flawed as it is based on household income and savings, rather than an individual’s income. For example, a woman working part-time on the minimum wage – with a weekly income of just £120 – could still face fees ten times her weekly salary if her partner has savings of more than £3,000. Fewer than a quarter of individuals applying for fees remission have received financial help.

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk

- Follow the TUC on Twitter: @tucnews