Increase in employment tribunal cases

Recent tribunal data has shown that the number of cases brought by individuals in the UK increased by 118% in the three months to the end of March 2018, compared to the same period last year.

While tribunal fees were in place, there were around 4,300 individual cases each quarter. This has risen to more than 9,000 in the most recent quarter.

This increase can have a big impact on a business’s bottom line, with the most expensive tribunals ending up costing hundreds of thousands of pounds.

  • Use your employee data to make sure employees are meeting expectations. If an employee is underperforming or is regularly absent, this could be a sign of a bigger underlying issue they may need help with. Reviewing employee data on a regular basis makes it easier to spot trends and have early, informal conversations before it gets to tribunal stage.
  • Make sure managers are trained and able to discuss HR issues, before they escalate.
  • One of the most common causes of tribunals is not following a proper process. Make sure all staff are aware of where to find HR policies and who to ask for guidance if they’re unsure. This provides managers with a clear evidence trail of how they addressed an issue with an employee; this is useful if it ends up in a tribunal.

A rise in tribunals was perhaps inevitable given the legacy of cases that employees were reluctant to bring during the period of tribunal fees but with well-trained managers and sound processes in place it need not be your business that finds itself defending a case!

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