After new figures showed a sharp spike in the number of employment tribunal claims being lodged, North East business owners are being advised to take proactive steps to ensure they’re not the next ones to find themselves facing claims.
That’s the response of Sarah Hall, partner in our employment law team here at Hay & Kilner Law Firm, to data from the Ministry of Justice which shows a 90 per cent rise in the number of single employment tribunals claims being made in the final quarter of last year, compared to the same period in 2016.
The increase followed on from a Supreme Court ruling last July, which found that the fees imposed by the Government for anyone wanting to pursue an employment tribunal claim were unlawful.
And with practical experience showing that the workplace issues leading to claims have often escalated to crisis point before owner managers are even aware of them, Sarah Hall is advising them to ensure their employees are aware of what is and isn’t acceptable practice in the workplace.
Sarah Hall says: “The cost to businesses in terms of the management time and money involved in fighting an employment tribunal claim can be very significant, and with the number of claims increasing so sharply, it is essential that businesses take steps to ensure their employment practices are comprehensive and up to date, and that their managers are fully trained.
Across the UK, the number of tribunal claims more than halved from 191,541 in 2012-13, the year before fees were introduced, to 88,476 in 2016-17, but after the removal of fee, the new upward trend is expected to continue this year and beyond.
In response to the need to address workplace situations which could lead to tribunals, Hay & Kilner has developed HR Showcase, a bespoke service for owner/managers which uses interactive role plays scenarios to highlight how individuals and management teams can prepare themselves and their staff to manage them.
Sarah Hall continues:”Offering business owners and managers hands on experience in a realistic environment of how they can minimise the risks inherent in managing a workforce will help them make stronger, more proactive decisions when any issues arise for real.”
For more information on any of the above or, how we can help your business, please contact Sarah Hall, or call 0191 232 8345