By Daniel Hunter

New figures from the Government showing an increase in the number of claims received by employment tribunals can most likely be linked to the decision to introduce a fee in relation to such cases, according to legal specialists.

According to the data for April to June 2013, the number of tribunal receipts related to employment was ten per cent higher than the same period 12 months ago.

It also suggested claims related to sex discrimination and equal pay saw the largest increase over the period analysed.

According to Glenn Hayes, a Partner and employment law expert based at Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office, there was plenty of evidence to suggest that the increase seen in figures over the period could be attributed to the introduction of tribunal fees in July.

“This increase is likely to be followed by a further surge across the next three months as claims have been issued immediately before the deadline to avoid having to pay the Tribunal fee. Because of this, it remains to be seen whether this will then even itself out over the course of the year," he outlined.

“From speaking with staff at the Tribunal service directly, we know they have apparently been inundated with such claims and are having some difficulty in processing the sheer volume this has produced in one go.

“There is also much to suggest that the complexity of claims is increasing, with people submitting discrimination and other claims, such as whistleblowing claims, where there has been much publicity.

“This may particularly be true in the public sector and in organisations such as the NHS, which in turn creates more complicated and expensive claims for employers to defend.”

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