The big news in employment law last week was the removal of Employment Tribunal fees for employees wishing to bring a claim against their employer.
The number of Tribunal claims fell dramatically when fees were introduced back in 2013. Will claims now increase back to those levels?
Employers would be wise to take a cautious approach and consider how they can better manage employee relations and reduce the risk of litigation. Some tips include:
- Ensure complete, correct and up to date contractual documentation is in place with employees and workers to help evidence the agreement between the parties;
- Deal with employee grievances seriously to head off disputes at an early stage;
- Use fair employment law processes, for example, carrying out a proper consultation and selection process with employees in a redundancy situation;
- Address performance issues at an early stage and, in particular, avoid the situation dragging on until an employee has over 2 years of service (as they are then also protected from unfair dismissal); and
- Utilise without prejudice discussions, protected conversations and ACAS conciliation to settle disputes without the need for litigation.
You do not have to pay a fee to make a claim to the Employment Tribunal, even if it says so on the form.