The boot is on the other foot
ACAS is now reporting 2500 new claims every month and it’s clear that employers are on a financial retreat from a barrage of unwanted extra costs.
In context, we saw a 90% increase in the first full year after ET fees were ruled illegal. This year the numbers are up again, a further 25% every month.
That’s a new claim every 17 minutes of a working week.
The biggest increase numerically is for wage deductions - surely an area where employers can improve with better communication skills?
Of most concern is a surge of vexatious claims of low initial value but presented professionally by opportunist CMC lawyers and Unions. When what started as a £800 bonus claim can be listed for a 5 day Hearing something has to be wrong. This puts employers and their insurers into a quandary, settle an unjustified claim or score an expensive piric victory? Commercial logic is to settle but unfairness lingers long in the memory.
The previous ET fee scale was high enough to justify allegations that access to justice was denied but we do need a brake to stop the system being exploited.
Could a proportionate deposit towards costs, refunded on a successful outcome be an answer? Better minds than mine may have the solution but the likelihood of MoJ intervention while this Government struggles with many other issues seems far away.
The sensible advice for any employer is now quite simple. Out-source your Tribunal risk with trustworthy professionals and get specialist insurance – a policy you can trust absolutely– one that names and agrees who's giving your HR advice from day one and does not have a prospects of success clause to trip you up.