June 2018 saw the highest number of single case employment tribunal claims since July 2013, the month before tribunal fees were first introduced, and the number of cases are on the rise.
The employment tribunal system was created in 1964 and, until July 2013, there was no cost to an employee for them to bring an employment tribunal claim. With the introduction of employment tribunal fees, employers saw a significant fall in cases being brought against them, to around 17,000 single case claims per year.
Have businesses switched off to the threat?
The Supreme Court ruled employment tribunal fees were unlawful in July 2017 – this triggered an instant increase in the number of cases being brought. Although the ruling came half way through the year, 2017 had over 23,000 single cases brought – a 38% increase over 2016 figures – so the warning signs were there.
The final numbers for 2018 are not yet available, but January to September saw nearly 29,000 single case employment claims; a figure already higher than any year since fees were introduced.
Multiple cases (a case involving more than one claim) are following the same trend – more in 9 months of 2018 than any full year since 2013. With almost 29,000 single claims and nearly 74,000 multiple claims, employers faced over 100,000 individual claims brought against them.
The three most frequently claimed areas in 2018 were Unfair Dismissal, Equal Pay and Unauthorised Deduction from Wages. With nearly 16,000 claims of Unfair Dismissal and a maximum award of £83,682 employers face a real threat to their business’ finances.
Figures sourced from Ministry of Justice Employment Tribunal Receipts 13th December 2018
The role of legal expenses insurance
Legal expenses insurance provides a legal advice service to customers to help them resolve employment or legal problems and, should a claim arise, insurance to cover the legal costs and tribunal awards.
Many legal expenses insurers partner with a single law firm or in-house team to asses a customer’s claim and determine its prospects and merits. This often leads to questions from customers over independence and high declinature rates. This upsets customers, increases complaints, reduces trust in the product and affects take up of the product, leaving customers exposed.
At Temple we take a different approach
Temple offers comprehensive legal expenses insurance, including cover for awards, backed by first-rate legal advice, to help customers avoid employment or legal problems and to support them should they arise.
We work with over 400 high-quality law firms across the UK. As a result, we give customers the unique ability to choose from one of our often well-known local law firms. Working with the client and their choice of solicitor on claims, rather than against them, we find leads to better outcomes all round. This includes fewer complaints, high customer satisfaction and increased client retention.
To find out how Temple Legal Protection’s legal expenses insurance products can help you to retain and gain more customers and extend or compliment your range of insurance offerings please call me on on 01483 514429 or email email@example.com.
Senior Underwriting Manager