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Employment tribunal claims drop

Employees are turning to alternatives to employment tribunals, a legal expert has revealed.

The Ministry of Justice has reported a 79 per cent drop in tribunal claims to 9,801 for the period October to December 2013, the latest figures available.

This period follows the introduction of controversial fees in July last year which means employees now need to pay a fee of between £160-£250 to issue a claim and £250-£950 to take the matter to a hearing.

Now Kimberley Barrett-St.Vall, solicitor at Lancashire law firm Napthens, has revealed that disgruntled staff are turning to alternative options to settle their claims.

She explained: “It is now cheaper to, for example, raise a claim for unlawful deduction from wages in the county court as opposed to the Employment Tribunal. There is still a fee but it is lower.

“Employment Tribunals may also dip further as ACAS have now introduced obligatory Early Conciliation. Matters may therefore be resolved before a claim is issued.

“The introduction of a fee was opposed by many employment groups and these figures may give ammunition to campaigners who felt that it would put too many people off making legitimate claims.”