Posts in Employment Tribunals

employment tribunal

Employment tribunal cases increased by 39% last year

24/07/2018 Posted by Employment Tribunals, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Employment tribunal cases increased by 39% last year”

The employment tribunal system is struggling to cope.  In the latest annual report from Acas, figures showed that the number of employment tribunal cases had rocketed in the past 12 months.

  Since last year’s Supreme Court ruling abolished claimant fees, the number of tribunal cases has increased by a whopping 39% according to the latest statistics. No longer required to pay the £1,200 fee, the number of claimants has increased substantially.  This has resulted in the employment tribunal system handling 26,012 cases  in 2017/18 compared to 18,647 the previous year.

“The number of people deciding to pursue a tribunal claim has definitely increased since the Supreme Court decision to scrap fees” said Acas chairman Sir Brendan Barber.

  In a further indication of the impact the removal fees has had, according to Ministry of Justice figures, single employment tribunal claims increased by 118% between January to March 2018. By contrast, multiple claims actually fell by 40%. The number of cases outstanding for both single and multiple claims rose significantly.  As a result, the Judicial Appointments Commission sought to recruit 54 new employment tribunal judges, in an attempt to address the backlog. According to employment judge Brian Doyle who is president of the employment tribunal, the courts had not recruited new employment judges for more than five years. Refunds of fees already paid totalled £6.5M by the end of March (around 7,700 cases). Unfair Dismissal remained the most frequent ground for complaint received by the Employment Tribunal Service.  It accounted for 53% of all cases last year. Issues relating to the Wages Act and Breach of Contract were the 2ndand 3rdmost frequent causes of complaint (36% and 33% of cases respectively).

If you are worried about the prospect of employment tribunals in your business, read about how you can minimise the risk of these occurring in our 9 point guide here . Alternatively, contact us for a chat about how we can help.

                 
Health & Safety Consultancy | Absorb employment law consultants, employment tribunals

Employment Tribunals – 9 ways you and your business can avoid them.

21/07/2018 Posted by Employment Tribunals, Guidance 1 thought on “Employment Tribunals – 9 ways you and your business can avoid them.”

Employment tribunals are on the increase and are a real threat to UK business owners.  Tribunals are always time-consuming for employers and they can be extremely costly.

  If you employ people you are always at risk from employment tribunals.  You can’t eliminate this risk, but you can minimise it.

Here’s our 9 top tips you can use to reduce the risk of employment tribunal claims:

 
      1. Contracts of Employment – We often find that many businesses don’t have employment contracts in place. Others often fail to update them with changes to salary, working hours and/or employment legislation.  The employment contract is your most important HR document.  They are essential points of reference that make managing people easier and tribunal claims less likely. You can download a FREE template from the resources section of our website.
       
      1. Disciplinary & Grievance – Set out your processes for handling these situations in your contracts of employment and make sure they are followed.  Proper process* can not only prevent tribunals claims, but they will significantly reduce the chances of any compensation awards against you should a tribunal take place.
       
      1. Redundancy – Following proper process is vital. Redundancy is a difficult time for any business and emotions will be running high.  Be fair in your dealings with your employees and supportive to those looking for new employment.
       
      1. Dismissal – Never dismiss a member of your staff on the spot however grave the alleged issue. You must always follow the correct procedure and taking time to step back before dismissing a member of staff is always advisable.
       
      1. Discrimination – All employers must comply with the Equality Act 2010. Review your processes to make sure they are not discriminatory in any way. If an employee makes an allegation of discrimination, we suggest you seek professional advice immediately.
       
      1. Training – As the owner of a company, you will be liable for any employment tribunal claim even if you weren’t directly involved.  Train your manager(s) to deal with disciplinary problems.  They must be  and are fully aware of – and follow – your procedures.
       
      1. Act – Dealing with situations quickly can often defuse situations and help to avoid employment tribunals. Don’t put off awkward meetings or allow unacceptable behaviour to go unchecked.
       
      1. Protection – You can protect your business against the cost of tribunal claims with legal protection insurance. All our advice line clients benefit from indemnity insurance.
       
      1. Seek advice – Make sure you’re following the right processes and deal with your HR situations as effectively as possible.  Seek advice from legal experts before you try and resolve people related issues in your business.  Expert advice will significantly improve your chances of defending an employment tribunal claim and may even avoid it altogether.
Following these guidelines will help you stay on the right side of law and out employment tribunals.  They should also help you provide a great working environment and establish better relationships with your employees. If you need any further advice or guidance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our experts. *Further information on correct procedures can be found in the Acas Code of Practice