Fees for an employee to take their boss to court have now been axed by the Supreme Court and the £32m in fees already paid will be refunded. This will mean more employees will be more likely to take their employers to a tribunal if they feel they have a case.
Managing the relationship with employees, especially as they leave the business, will become even more important to avoid a tribunal.
The employment tribunal fees of between £390 and £1,200 were introduced in 2013 and have seen a 79% decrease of cases being brought.
The Acas conciliation service said two-thirds of the employees it advised that could have gone to a tribunal didn’t do so because of the cost. The prospect of no-cost tribunals will likely see a significant increase in the number of cases.
So what about businesses in South Wales? Are they more likely to be taken to court?
Caryl Thomas from the HR Dept discusses the issue:
“It was a real shock that the Supreme Court axed the fees and nobody really expected it. If an employee feels like they have a case for an employment tribunal, they’ll be able to do so without any costs.
“We’re expecting to see a massive rise in claims, especially for unpaid wages which were previously prohibitively expensive to recover.
Making sure you keep a good relationship with employees has never been more important, especially as average claims for dismissal have reached £14,000 – over 10% more than last year.”
Being compliant with all areas of employment law, as well as taking professional advice is the best way to avoid being taken to a tribunal.
“If South Wales small business owners are worried about making sure they’re compliant and in a position to avoid a tribunal altogether, we’d suggest seeking expert advice.”