The number of workers in Scotland taking employers to task in the Employment Tribunal over unfair pay and conditions has seen a five-fold increase after controversial Employment Tribunal fees were scrapped. The fee regime, which saw employees paying up to £1,200 to pursue a case, was scrapped in July last year following a Supreme Court ruling that the charges were unlawful. Current UK government figures show equal pay cases accounting for the bulk of claims – an increase of 360%. Unfair dismissal claims also increased by 84% over the period, while sex discrimination claims went up by almost 50% and disability discrimination claims increased by 100%.
The recent case of Lancaster & Duke v. Wileman is a useful reminder to employers that terminating an employee's employment in the week before they gain two years' continuous service may still enable an employee to claim that they have the requisite qualifying service to bring a claim for ordinary unfair dismissal.
Acas has issued its first annual report since the July 2017 Supreme Court judgment declaring employment tribunal fees unlawful (a previous blog post on the possible effects of that decision can be found here).
When the Supreme Court reached its landmark decision on the legality of employment tribunal (ET) fees last summer (we previously blogged about this here) the court reviewed the evidence regarding the effect of fees on ET claims and noted there had been "a dramatic and persistent fall in the number of claims" since fees were controversially introduced in 2013.