The HR Dept is warning local business owners to not get too comfortable after figures were released revealing a large drop in the number of employment tribunals. Although it is true that the number of employment tribunals has fallen dramatically, The HR Dept has actually seen an increase in the complexity of claims and the determination of the individuals taking the claims out amongst its SME client base.
In a report from the Ministry of Justice it was revealed that the number of claims from October to December 2013 was 79% fewer than the same period in 2012.
Employment tribunal fees were implemented in July 2013, meaning an employee must now pay a fee to take their employer to an employment tribunal. This was put into practice in the hope of removing vexatious claims and to provide funding to employment tribunal courts. However, as an employer, even if you’ve done everything by the book employment tribunals can be hugely costly – not only financially but with regards to your time too.
The HR Dept said: “Business owners can do everything in their power to avoid employment tribunals, but even if they’ve followed the rules to the letter there’s always a chance an employee could take them to an employment tribunal.
“Regardless of the outcome, a lot of time, money and effort are needed to defend an employer in an employment tribunal. This can have a huge impact on SMEs in particular, because nobody has a pot of money put aside for these situations.
“An employment tribunal claim can hang over a small business like a shadow, regardless of the case or background. Therefore, getting advice early on is important. Pre-emptively investing in tribunal indemnity insurance can be hugely beneficial in these scenarios.”
Note to the Editor
The HR Dept offers an advice line which grants access to local expert HR advice. As part of the advice line the business owner is given the added benefit of employment tribunal indemnity insurance, covering tribunal awards and legal costs for defence.