To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 15 October 2014 to Question 206019, how many awards of remission of fees for employment tribunal proceedings were made in each month between 1 July 2014 and 30 September 2014; and how many such awards were to (i) single claimants, (ii) claimants in multiple claimant cases and (iii) applicants to the Employment Appeal Tribunal.
26 January 2015
I will answer these questions together as they are seeking information on the costs and benefits of running the employment tribunals.
Jadu Ltd was awarded a contract by the Ministry of Justice to establish, and support, a digital exemplar service including an online form and a payment system for employment tribunals in February 2013. That contract was for £1.2m including VAT and provided delivery of the system and support for two years. Jadu Ltd has received £800k including VAT since July 2013 for additional changes due to legislation and for further non-contracted improvements to the system.
For the period from 1 April 2014 to 31 December 2014 HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has received a gross total of £9.0m in employment tribunal fees of which £2.4m has been forgone in fee remission, leaving £6.6m in net fees.
The number of fee remission awards made each month is available from financial information relating to fees and remissions in the employment tribunals system published by HMCTS in its Annual Report and Accounts. The answer by the Minister for the Courts and Legal Aid given on 15 October 2014 which can be viewed at
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2014-07-15/206019/ records the number of fee remission awards in each month from July 2013 to June 2014. The number awarded each month from July 2014 to December 2014 is shown below:
Employment Tribunal Fee Remission Awards1
Individual Claims (Single Claims)
Appeals to the Employment Appeal Tribunal
1Timing differences exist between data uploaded to the finance system and data entered at source within employment tribunals fees systems. The monthly profile shown here reflects the date remissions were recorded on the finance system. This may not reflect the date on which remission applications were received or processed.
My Department expects to be in a position to publish more detailed data on the number of remission applications made, and awards made, for the employment tribunals and Employment Appeal Tribunal in the Tribunal and Gender Recognition Certificate Statistics quarterly bulletin by the end of this financial year.
It is not possible to separate out reductions in variable operational costs resulting from changes in employment tribunals claims from decreases in costs for other reasons. Excluding allocated overheads, the cost of operating the employment tribunals for the year 2013 /14 was £69m. The most recent forecast of cost in 2014/15 is £65m, a reduction of £4m in nominal terms. Fee income for 2014/15 is forecast to be £9m, so the costs to the taxpayer are forecast to reduce by £13m.
Hardworking taxpayers should not be picking up the bill for employment disputes in tribunals and it is reasonable to expect people to contribute towards the bill for the service. Moreover, it is important to remember that the Government has taken measures to ensure that those who have limited means have fee waivers and are therefore not excluded from seeking redress in tribunals.
It is also worth noting the figures published by Acas show that over 37,000 people used the new early conciliation scheme in its first six months. This is a promising start to the scheme and shows that there are alternative ways of resolving disputes rather than always through tribunals.