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Employment Tribunals

Volume 628: debated on Tuesday 5 September 2017

9. What assessment his Department has made of the reasons for recent trends in the number of employment tribunal cases. (900672)

In 2014, the Government introduced a requirement for potential claimants to consider conciliation before starting proceedings at the employment tribunal. The number of cases going to conciliation quadrupled, rising to 92,000 in 2015-16.

In the year after employment tribunal fees were introduced, sex discrimination claims fell by 67% and pregnancy discrimination claims by 37%. The Supreme Court made it clear in its recent judgment that fees disproportionately affected women. The Minister has outlined plans to reimburse those who have submitted claims, but what steps will be taken to compensate people who were denied access to justice because they could not afford to pursue a claim in the first place?

The hon. Lady is right to refer to the ending of the fees and the proposals for reimbursement that we will bring forward shortly. If there were potential claims that should have been made but were not, anyone who was unable to bring a claim can submit to the employment tribunal to have their case heard outside the usual time limits. The judiciary will consider those applications case by case.