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Surprise at low uptake of employment tribunal refunds

Only £1.8m paid out so far.

The first official analysis of the initial level of claims for employment tribunal fee refunds following their abolition in July 2017 suggests uptake has been slow – but experts warned the government will have to pay more out in coming months.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) received more than 4,500 applications for tribunal fee refunds between October and December 2017, after the Supreme Court ruling that the fees were unlawful led to their abolition and the launch in October 2017 of a refund scheme for eligible claimants.

The government said it had so far refunded 2,151 payments to claimants, totalling £1,808,310, according to newly published figures by the Ministry of Justice.
Following the Supreme Court ruling, it was estimated that the government may have to repay up to £33m overall in refunded fees to claimants who paid for employment tribunal claims between 29 July 2013 and 26 July 2017. Based on the initial uptake rate, the government could expect to refund around £10.8m during 2018.

Employment tribunal claims up 66 per cent in first quarter after fee abolition

Long-awaited statistics on employment tribunals in England and Wales have found that the overall number of claims rose 66 per cent in the three months after fees were abolished in July.

Whereas the number of single claims – for individual grievances such as unfair or wrongful dismissal – jumped 64 per cent in the first quarter, multiple tribunal claims fell 15 per cent, with the number of overturned cases increasing by 42 per cent.

There were 23,297 multiple claims received in the quarter to October, a decrease of 15 per cent on the same period last year.

Deliveroo tribunal victory ‘offers firms route out of self-employment quandary

Legal experts say decision to accept delivery company’s contractual changes may complicate questions of employment status

A tribunal ruling that riders for a popular food delivery business are in practice self-employed has surprised legal experts – and has offered a potential workaround for gig economy firms looking to protect their current business models.

The Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) ruled yesterday (14 November) that Deliveroo riders are technically self-employed because they are allowed to substitute other riders to take their place on jobs.

Following an Employment Appeal Tribunal finding last week that Uber drivers are workers – and are therefore entitled to employment rights including paid holiday leave and the national minimum wage – the Deliveroo decision had been widely expected to follow the recent trend for rejection of self-employment business models.

But the committee has accepted a recent contractual change from Deliveroo, which allows drivers to substitute other riders if they are unable to make a particular shift. This appears to have helped shift the balance in favour of self-employment, as it gave riders more control over the conditions of their work in the committee’s eyes.

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