As you will probably be aware, employment tribunal fees were abolished in 2017, a huge change which saves claimants around £1200 for any employment tribunal which they bring against their employer. Unfortunately, this does mean that you as an employer are now at a much greater risk of having a tribunal brought against you and of course you would be liable for legal fees instead, regardless of the outcome.
This was certainly borne out when I recently attended the offices of Employment Tribunals in Edinburgh. I was absolutely astonished to see just how busy the offices now were, in fact I calculated that there was a seven-fold increase in the number of cases being heard compared to the numbers being heard prior to the abolition of fees taking place.
But don’t just take my word for it, since the fees were abolished there has definitely been a steep rise in the number of employment tribunal claims lodged. The latest Ministry of Justice official statistics, show that the number of receipts for single claims more than doubled when compared with the same period in 2017. Receipts for multiple claims more than quadrupled in the same period.
ACAS has also seen a 39% jump in the number of cases that have gone to an employment tribunal since fees were abolished and employment tribunal claims the conciliation service was involved with increased by more than 7,000 since the Supreme Court ruled it was unlawful to charge claimants up to £1,200 in tribunal fees.
Borders Employment Law are highly experienced in representing clients at employment tribunals and because of the changing landscape we would strongly encourage you to take action now which could save you a considerable amount of time and money in the future. As always, prevention is better than cure and having a robust set of employment policies in place and line manager training on key areas such as sickness absence and equality will go some way towards mitigating the risks.
However, help is at hand and we would recommend that you also consider taking the following steps.
- We can help you to make sure that everything is in order so that if you do get a tribunal brought against you, you are ready for it.
- If you do have a tribunal case brought against you, we can offer you full representation and protection at a low cost.
- As a UEL Member firm, we have exclusive access to an exclusive insurance policy which would not only pay for representation at a tribunal by myself as an experienced tribunal lawyer but could also cover you should an award be made against you.
I can’t emphasise enough what an exceptionally good product this is for employers, to make sure that you are fully compliant with the law and that if a case is brought against you, that you have the reassurance that expert representation is paid for as well as any award that might be made against you. Do give me a call and I can discuss the implications of an employment tribunal as well as introduce the considerable benefits of our specialist insurance policy to you.