Fall in employment tribunal claims: the cost of bringing age discrimination claims
Since fees were introduced for bringing a claim in an employment tribunal, the number of claims has fallen by 70%, as reported here in The Guardian. It’s a trend picked up by the unions who say that those most affected are low paid women, and follows a Government review published at the end of January. Whilst it was expected that the number of claims would fall, the decrease is larger than expected.
The Government review talks about people being discouraged but not prevented from bringing claims due the the fees payable up front. It also acknowledged that whilst some claims were addressed through ACAS, there was “a group (which we estimate to be between 3,000 and 8,000people) who were unable to resolve their disputes through conciliation, but who did not go on to issue proceedings because they said that they could not afford to pay“.
This has been criticised by unions, employment law firms and the Law Society. It also highlights the individualised nature of bringing a claim against an organization for, say, age discrimination. The real cost is both finanical and personal (it takes time and effort to address what are often systemic or organizational issues). We looked at the statistics for age discrimination claims in this post last December reporting on the general downward trend, notwithstanding a spike due to a large multiple claimant issue in September 2015.