Tribunal System Reform

Discussion in 'Legal' started by ccp consultancy, Feb 2, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. ccp consultancy

    ccp consultancy UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    515 173
    With Tribunal claims rising to a record figure in excess 236,000 last year, a rise of 56% on 2008/2009 figures. Most businesses had to spend an average £4,000 to defend a claim. Added to this cost are the average compensatory awards in the region of £9,120.

    There has been widespread discussions about the government proposals to increase the unfair dismissal qualifying period to 2 years and to impose a nominal fee for employees who wish to purse a claim.

    These measures are being suggested in the hope to reduce the amount of misconceived claims being pursued, those with a limited chance of success.

    (and now comes the small print)

    What has not been so widely publicised are the proposals to fine businesses who deliberately flout their responsibilities as an employer.

    Consideration is being given to fines from £100 up to £5,000 be levied on top of any compensation awarded to an individual. This fine will go to the Exchequer, and not to the claimant.

    It is hoped that by increasing the penalties that this will motivate employers to keep themselves out of the heavily burdened tribunal system.

    Some of the more sceptical amongst us will see this as another money making excersize, others will applaud the proactive thinking to help reform the less scrupulous employes, others will think that these measures do not go far enough

    Whatever your views, it is obvious that changes are coming, and it is adviseable to ensure that all your employment practises and policies are "fit for purpose" in order to ensure that you can easily prove that you have complied with the law.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011
    Posted: Feb 2, 2011 By: ccp consultancy Member since: Mar 2, 2010
    #1
  2. Employment Law Clinic

    Employment Law Clinic UKBF Big Shot Full Member - Verified Business

    3,343 1,576
    It is surprising that, beyond the two years for an unfair dismissal, so little of the 90 page consultation (open until 20 April) has got any publicity, but (unless I missed it) this £100 – £5,000 award will be on top of the potential 25% uplift that would go to an employee (awarded for the same reasons – failure to follow procedure), so it will probably increase employer’s costs significantly more than the previous 50% uplift that existed under the old Statutory Dispute Procedures.

    Separate to this, there is a proposal to levy a fee to cover the cost of running the tribunal (as is typical in other courts), so overall probably a lot more risk to employers that face an employment tribunal claim than there is now; some small benefit – the two years for unfair dismissals (although there is a question whether this is discriminatory & legal anyway) – but overall not looking like a good package for employers... or employees. Not bad for the Exchequer though! And perhaps not bad for those of us that work in this field :).



    Karl Limpert
     
    Posted: Feb 2, 2011 By: Employment Law Clinic Member since: Aug 10, 2009
    #2
  3. ccp consultancy

    ccp consultancy UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    515 173
    The whole rushed shambles of this reform - makes me think of the lovely Dispute Resolution Regs that were abolished as quickly as they came in!!- Luckily for me I was lucky enough to utilise them in order to obtain a 50% upllift on compensation for a client - but nonetheless - it makes it difficult for the honest employer that truly does want to confrom to the law, if every 6 months there are yet more ammendments / changes / reforms and goodness know what else in the pipeline.

    Without a question of a doubt, will keep the poor lowly HR / Emp Law specialists busy though:D
     
    Posted: Feb 2, 2011 By: ccp consultancy Member since: Mar 2, 2010
    #3
  4. E Storey

    E Storey UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    597 138
    I just see it as way too much legislation for very small companies, we've had people on here asking about say getting someone to help out 1-2 afternoons a week with their gardening business.

    Is it realistic to expect a sole trader, who is no particularly numerate or legally minded to be aware of all this? - no! Then the only way then can comply is either not to employ someone at all or spend a considerable amount of time and money on legal/HR advice before they even take anyone one.

    If organisations like local councils can't get their employment procedures and equal pay right, how on earth do they expect mere mortals to do it?

    I feel there may as well be less employment rights in statute as they are difficult to prove in court anyway, and tribunals could then focus on the worst offenders, rather than punishing small businesses for not ticking all the right boxes.
     
    Posted: Feb 2, 2011 By: E Storey Member since: Jul 12, 2010
    #4
  5. Employment Law Clinic

    Employment Law Clinic UKBF Big Shot Full Member - Verified Business

    3,343 1,576
    E Storey,

    We get at least one annual budget (in recent years, occasionally more), with the bulging red book introducing loads of changes to tax laws. Is it realistic to expect a sole trader, who is no particularly numerate or legally minded to be aware of all this? - no! Then the only way then can comply is either not to employ someone at all or spend a considerable amount of time and money on accountancy/tax advice [which I entirely appreciate is necessary] before they even take anyone one. But budgets seem never get the attention/criticism that employment law changes do!

    As for a considerable amount of time and money on legal/HR advice, with a template employment contract available on Business Link for 25 minutes time & when advice is available from less than £1.40 per week, I wouldn’t personally describe it as “considerable”. (The gardener scenario you describe would probably be minimal work, and therefore minimal fees too.)



    Karl Limpert
     
    Posted: Feb 2, 2011 By: Employment Law Clinic Member since: Aug 10, 2009
    #5
  6. sjbeale

    sjbeale UKBF Ace Full Member

    1,215 212
    For businesses that employ staff there are enough HR consultants around to give cost effective advice on an ad hoc basis and appropriate employment documentation. They will be invaluable in the future given the proposed changes to Business Link and the mass redundancy of their paid advisors.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
    Posted: Feb 3, 2011 By: sjbeale Member since: Jul 8, 2005
    #6
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.