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23rd May 2019
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Soapbox: Tribunal system overrun with claims since scrapping of fees
The Supreme Court has ruled that workplace tribunal fees, introduced in 2013, are unlawful. This is now forcing the Government to repay more than £27m to thousands of claimants, who were charged up to £1,200 to take unfair dismal, discrimination and other workplace claims to tribunal.
As a result of the changes to fees, cases are once again being brought before an employment tribunal without the need for the applicant to pay any kind of fee - resulting in a significant rise in cases.
Ian Anfield, Managing Director of leading CIS workplace audit and contract solutions provider, Hudson Contract, explains here what this means for employers and lawyers involved in employment tribunal cases:
"There's trouble ahead for the system and for the many thousands of employers who will be faced with an ongoing torrent of costly, stressful and often-bogus attempts to win an employment tribunal pay out, and only lawyers will benefit from this.
The introduction of tribunal fees saved UK PLC at least £180m a year in the legal cost of defending spurious claims.
The aim of tribunal fees, along with extending the employment period before staff could claim unfair dismissal to two years, was to protect employers from spurious claims; encouraging firms to hire additional staff... and looking at employment figures, it seems to have worked.
We are already seeing a huge increase in activity at Hudson Contract with no-win-no-fee lawyers and unions once again playing the employment tribunal card at every opportunity.
Experience tells us that if we deal with things correctly, work within our robust processes, and treat people fairly, we and our clients have little to fear because they are fully protected by Hudson Contract: we fight any employment tribunal cases on their behalf, picking up the stress and eliminating all financial risk.
From now on, though, I hope our clients will continue to be vigilant, treating sub-contractors like sub-contractors, using the Hudson Contract processes correctly, and by directly employing those over whom they need control and an exclusive personal service.
As for those who use self-employed labour without a robust set of procedures in place, they can now dread a call from their local union representative almost as much as they do from HMRC."
Find out more about Hudson Contract and the potential impact the changes to employment tribunal fees could have on your business in this video:
Founded in 1996, Hudson Contract is one of the UK's largest provider of professional workplace audit and contract services to the construction industry. It is an affiliate member of the association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE).
17th November 2017