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Employers Beware - Greater risk of tribunal claims
Statistics on employment tribunal claims in England and Wales have recently been published. These show a staggering 66% increase in claims for the first quarter after the abolition of tribunal fees in July 2017. It has led lawyers to warn that the false sense of security that may have been present when the fees regime was in place, has meant that some employers may have adopted poor management practices.

The number of single claims, for individual grievances such as unfair or wrongful dismissal, jumped 64% in the first quarter, but multiple tribunal claims fell 15%, with the number of overturned cases increasing by 42%. The number of employment tribunals claims brought after fees were introduced had dropped by as much as 70%, meaning that claims may now be gradually approaching the pre-fee levels.

It is thought that one possible reason for the reduction in the number of multiple claims could be that some types of multiple claim are also for relatively small amounts and they had been grouped together. For example, employees making a claim for holiday pay might have worked as a group because it was cheaper under the fee regime.

It is likely that over the previous 4 years employers may not have taken quite so much care over their treatment of staff because they may have assumed that employees would not have had the £1,200 needed to pursue something like an unfair dismissal claim. Employment law specialists are now reminding employers that the risk of facing a claim has now increased and that therefore they should ensure that their treatment of staff is in accordance with their disciplinary and grievance procedures.
Posted on 22 Dec 2017

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