The number of cases being brought at Employment Tribunals has soared since fees were abolished a year ago.
Julia Fitzsimmons, Partner with the employment team at FBC Manby Bowdler, says employers must do everything possible to protect themselves against the risk of litigation.
The latest figures from the Ministry of Justice regarding the outstanding caseload of employment tribunals makes stark reading.
They reveal that the number of cases going through the system has more than doubled over the past 12 months, the first full year since the abolition of fees for bringing an action.
In fact, the number of outstanding single cases was 130 per cent higher in the second quarter of 2018 than the same period in 2017, whilst the overall number of single claims received in England and Wales has also risen dramatically.
In total, 10,996 claims were made between April and June this year, compared to 4,241 during the same period twelve months earlier.
Every employer should be concerned about this increase and be doing everything possible to avoid becoming part of the statistics themselves.
Tribunals are not only costly and stressful, they attract negative publicity to the company involved and use up valuable resources which would be better employed elsewhere in the business. Furthermore, this big increase in cases means they are taking longer to come to tribunal, adding further to the workload and cost.
The rise in claims illustrates the need for companies to take expert legal advice over all aspects of employment law.
By ensuring you have taken proper advice over policies and procedures, you can protect yourself against the risk of future claims and be in the best-possible position to defend them should they arise.
The abolition of fees, ordered by the Supreme Court last year after it found them to be unlawful and unconstitutional, means that Employment Tribunals are likely to remain a fact of life for the foreseeable future.
By bringing in experts at the earliest possible stage you will not only be doing the right thing by your company and staff, you’ll help give yourself some valuable peace of mind as well.
If you would like more information about any of the issues surrounding employment law, please contact Julia on J.Fitzsimmons@fbcmb.co.uk.