As a specialist in employment law and litigation, I have certainly seen the increase in employment tribunal claims since the abolition of tribunal fees in July 2017. Not only are the employment lawyers feeling the affects, but the Tribunals from a resource and judge perspective are struggling to keep up.
Personally, I have worked in employment law without a Claimant needing to lodge a fee to pursue their claim and also during a period where they do have to lodge a fee, and unfortunately there has definitely been a turn back to a culture where Claimant's, many with limited prospects of success are running a employment tribunal claim to see what if any settlement they could achieve.
Frequently we are receiving cases where defences are to be lodge within the standard defence time, but with Preliminary Hearings and Hearings not being listed until the middle or end of next year.
Is this fair to businesses who very rarely secure costs against a Claimant for vexatiously pursuing claims?
Only time will tell as to whether the Government will bring back employment tribunal fees in another form.
The outstanding caseload of employment tribunals has more than doubled over the past 12 months, according to official statistics which indicate that the first full year since the abolition of fees for tribunals has led to a huge uplift in cases.