Tribunal judges are far more diverse in gender and ethnicity than their court counterparts, figures released on Friday have shown.
Nearly half of tribunal judges are women, according to annual figures from the senior president’s office, while 10 per cent come from ethnic minority backgrounds. The report showed that 45 per cent of tribunal judges in England and Wales were women, compared with 28 per cent across the court system generally.
Solicitors have far more opportunity on the tribunal bench than in the wider courts as well. The report showed that two-thirds of tribunal judges were not barristers, compared with one third.
The report also illustrated the depth of decline in cases going to the employment tribunal since claimants were forced to pay fees to have their cases heard. The number of single cases averaged at 4,400 annually since the introduction of the charging regime in 2013 – a 67 per cent drop. Over the same period, multiple cases have averaged 400 per quarter, a 72 per cent decrease.
Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that the government’s fee regime for the employment tribunal was unlawful. It is likely that the Ministry of Justice will have to refund as much as £27 million to claimants who paid the fee over the last four years.