Record numbers of working people are bringing employment disputes to tribunals, according to new statistics.
A government review, found that since the introduction of Employment Tribunal fees, record numbers have brought forward disputes against their employer.
More than 92,000 people bought forward workplace disputes last year – the highest number since employment tribunal fees were introduced.
The review also revealed that the introduction of tribunal fees, as well as free mediation services, have dramatically changed how workplace disputes are resolved.
Thousands of working people also benefited from an extended scheme to waive fees for the lowest paid. Ministers are committed to making sure people from all backgrounds can access justice, and have published proposals to expand the ‘Help with Fees’ scheme.
Speaking about the findings, Justice Minister Sir Oliver Heald, said, “It is right that those who can afford to should contribute to the cost of Employment Tribunals.”
“Under our reforms, record numbers are bringing forward disputes in tribunals or through the ACAS conciliation service.”
“Costs should not prevent anyone bringing claims, so we are extending our Help with Fees Scheme and will introduce a Green Paper on further legal support measures.”
“The Prison and Courts Bill will also bring more people online, making it even simpler and easier to access justice.”
Under the extended Help with Fees scheme, more people would not pay a fee and others would contribute less than under the current arrangements. The extended scheme would benefit the disabled, women, BAME individuals, and the young, who all feature disproportionately among low income groups.
The government is also investing more than £700 million to modernise courts and tribunals, and over £270 million more in the criminal justice system.