Decline in Employment Tribunal claims – what does this mean for FE?


FE is not immune to Tribunal claims. Whether they come from disgruntled lecturers or churlish caretakers, Colleges get their fair share of Tribunal claims. So how will the new Tribunal regime that exists, in terms of paying fees and pre-claim conciliation work in practice?
The latest statistics from the Ministry of Justice make for interesting reading. They have confirmed the dramatic reduction in the number of Tribunal claims since the introduction of Tribunal fees in July 2013. Depending on which figures you look at, the reduction is stark. There has been around a 60% drop in the number of Tribunal claims lodged in the January to March 2014 period as compared to the previous year. It seems reasonable to conclude that the introduction of Tribunal fees has had an effect on the number of claims lodged. On the one hand, the introduction of fees has been seen as helpful to reduce the number of spurious or less meritorious claims. On the other hand, as UNISON has argued, fees are preventing individuals from exercising their legal rights in that the fees breach the principle of effectiveness (making it difficult for individuals to enforce their legal employment rights) and are seen as indirectly discriminatory (discrimination claims are more expensive to lodge with the Tribunal). UNISON has challenged the validity of the fees regime but it is unlikely that the case will be heard until the Autumn at the earliest. However, the publication of the statistics has given the union strong arguments to advance its position yet further.

The Government has pledged its determination to keep the fees regime under review. However, it is widely expected that even if UNISON succeeds in its legal arguments the matter will be appealed to the higher Courts for determination. Therefore, in the short term any proposed changes are likely to be in relation to the amount of fees payable; commentators widely expect the fees to be reduced if nothing else. However, time will tell.

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About Paul Champion

Some have called me a leader, and a entrepreneur, they say I have integrity, presence and skills to ensure continuous improvement and success in whatever challenges I face. They also tell me that I am positive, resilient and motivating. I say, I'm just a normaI guy from Gateshead in the North of England, who started as an apprentice engineer. I have been in the right place at the right time and in the wrong place at the wrong time! I have successfully initiated and led complex organizations and situations to completion and success, and I have been in some jobs where success seemed untouchable. Mainly though, I have tried to learn everyday, help people to progress and learn the skills they need to be successful. I have had the privilege of working with some great people locally across the UK and more recently internationally in Asia, Europe and now USA, where I am lucky enough to work for where I am head of 3aaa USA. This website is just me having an outlet to talk about all those thoughts, ideas and things I learn that pass through my head every day when I face the challenge of doing business. I will also rant on about how great apprenticeships are, and how you can help change peoples lives through them. After all thats how I got to do the great things that I have done, and also I am still an apprentice everyday! All I ask is that if you find it interesting then leave a comment and share what you read. THANK YOU.

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