Tribunal Claims Back on the Rise
It has been a busier year for the tribunals service compared to the dramatic reduction in claims we’ve seen in recent years. The previous falls in claims occurred following the introduction of tribunal fees in 2013. However, in 2015-16, claims totalled 83,031, a rise of 35% compared to 2014-15.
While it’s unclear why the number of claims has risen and bucked the trend of previous years, it does offer a timely reminder to employers to ensure that they are completely compliant when it comes to Employment Law, and that they take a proactive, rather than reactive, approach.
The highest award this year of £1,762,130 was in a claim for sex discrimination. The maximum costs award was £102,967 (though it should be noted costs orders are still an exception and not the norm). The usual rule is that a claimant would only recover their tribunal fees if they were successful, and each party would cover their own costs.
On a similar note, the average award this year for a successful unfair dismissal claim was £13,851. Taking into account the legal costs an employer can face in cases of unfair dismissal, not to mention how the experience can be a tiresome and stressful, it’s important to ensure that the business’s procedures, legislations, and documents are completely up-to-date and in place as required by law.
The old idiom ‘shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted’ certainly applies when it comes to Employment Law practices, which is why it’s worthwhile having a respected legal firm on board to prevent things from going wrong, or being there to help if things do.