During the period from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015, 61,308 claims were raised. This compares to 105,803 claims in 2013/2014 and to 191,541 claims for April 2012 to March 2013, which was the last full 12 month period during which time no fee required to be paid by a claimant in order to raise a claim.
The Court of Appeal has recently rejected UNISON'S appeals against the High Court's rejection of their judicial review applications. The Government has though announced that it will conduct a review into Employment Tribunal fees. This review is expected to be finished later this year and the Government has said that it will consult on any proposals for reforms to the Tribunal fees scheme prior to making any changes. In addition, the Scottish government intends to abolish Tribunal fees using devolved powers, which they consider they will be able to exercise under the Scotland Bill which is currently going through Parliament.
The other factor which needs to be considered when looking at the reduction in the number of claims is ACAS Early Conciliation. This requires ACAS to be notified of any dispute before a claim can be lodged with a view to trying to settle the dispute. In July 2015 ACAS released statistics for the first full year of the operation of Early Conciliation. The statistics showed that of those cases that were intimated to ACAS between April 2014 and December 2014, 63% did not progress to a claim and 15% were settled by way of a COT3 settlement. That said, I suspect that many of these claims did not progress due to the cost of Tribunal fees rather than due to the ACAS Early Conciliation process.