Recent statistics on employment tribunals have found that the overall number of claims rose 66% in the three months after fees were abolished in July.
Employment law experts have warned organisations to scrutinise their employment practices in light of the figures which revealed that the tribunals’ outstanding caseload also rose 37% after the Supreme Court found employment tribunal fees unlawful in July.
Following the ruling, the Ministry of Justice “took immediate steps” to stop charging fees for tribunals, and put in place a fee refund scheme for claimants who had paid fees between 2013 and 2017, since the first introduction of such fees.
The number of employments tribunals brought after fees were introduced had dropped by as much as 70% meaning that claims may be gradually approaching pre-fee levels. It is likely that the abolition of fees will lead to a continual rise in the number of claims being made. Employers may face serious reputational consequences if they have neglected their employment practices while fees were in place.
Employers must not underestimate the importance of equipping line managers to handle workplace disputes following the rise in claims. Businesses should be looking at the disciplinary procedures they have in place and how closely these are being followed, to help them resolve disputes in the best way for both the employee and the employer.
121 regularly run disciplinary and grievance workshops, with the next one scheduled for 5th February. Get in touch if you would like to book a place, by contacting Events@121hrsolutions.co.uk