Gordon Turner of Gordon Employment Lawyers now plans to meet with the MOJ to discuss this issue – he argues that the lack of central monitoring means that serial litigants who make weak or vexatious claims are enabled to do so repeatedly because there is no way for these patterns to be flagged up unless the Register of Decisions is checked manually.
In the FOI request Turner asked the MoJ whether it could tell him if any claimants had made more than 50, 100 and 200 age discrimination claims in the last three years. He also asked for the maximum number of age discrimination claims brought by an individual in the last three years.
He said employers often still use problematic language such as “school leaver”, “recent graduate” and “agile worker” and vexatious claimants latch on to the possibility of bringing a discrimination claim.
The FOI response said that the MoJ does not hold this information in a “collated and accessible format” and that to compile it would be too expensive.
Turner said: “I am going to write to the MOJ and take up the offer of a meeting. I don’t think this is about a narrow FOI interpretation of cost but rather the broader picture of how the employment tribunal system is used and viewed. The costs to business and the taxpayer from claims being brought or persisting in the system when they should be spotted and excluded at the initial stages is something I would have thought the MOJ or the Government would investigate.”
Earlier this year a claim by John Berry for age discrimination against a recruitment agency was struck out after he failed to corroborate his identity as directed to. The judgment noted that it appeared that Mr Berry had previously brought 50 similar claims against various employers and described him as an “experienced litigant”. Mr Berry has not attended a any of the tribunal hearings.