News & Legal Updates
Sign up to news & legal updates
- Tribunal Fees
Employees now have to pay fees to bring claims to the employment tribunal. For unfair dismissal and discrimination claims there is a lodging fee of £250 (payable on lodging the claim), and a further hearing fee of £950 (payable 4 weeks before the hearing).
The introduction of tribunal fees has seen a reduction of approximately 70% in the number of tribunal cases being brought compared with the numbers prior to the introduction of fees. Fees are clearly acting as a deterrent and, in the current climate, employers are less likely to face claims if they dismiss.
- ACAS Early Conciliation
ACAS Early Conciliation is now mandatory. This means that a claimant must initiate contact with ACAS before lodging a tribunal claim. This allows employers an opportunity to resolve disputes before legal costs are incurred. Again this process acts as a further hurdle for employees to overcome before lodging a claim.
- Cap on compensation
Compensation for unfair dismissal is now capped at the lesser of £76,574 or 12 months’ gross pay. This allows employers greater certainty in assessing potential costs for negotiating settlement agreements or negotiating exit packages.
- Qualifying service
Employees need to have 2 years’ continuous service before they can raise claims of unfair dismissal. This allows employers greater flexibility and more time to decide whether a new employee is worthy of retaining on a long term basis.
- Pre-termination negotiations
Pre-termination discussions allow employers to have “off the record” discussions with employees even where there is no existing dispute. Such discussions cannot be referred to during any subsequent unfair dismissal proceedings and allow the employer another opportunity to take action against employees.
Come and speak to us …
At the moment, the legislation is weighted in favour of the employer. However these factors are likely to change next year. Employers should seize the opportunity now to take action against difficult or underperforming employees. Those difficult conversations are made slightly less difficult by reason of the current system which provides some comfort for employers.
We are problem solvers. If you have an employment law query – give us a ring. A member of the team will happily have an initial discussion with you to assess whether you should take more detailed advice. Act now, or repent later ….
The opinions expressed in this site are of the author(s) only and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Blackadders LLP.
Blackadders takes all reasonable steps to ensure that the content of this site is accurate and up to date. The site is not, however, intended as a substitute for seeking legal or other professional advice but rather as an informative guide to the services provided by Blackadders and topical legal developments. Site visitors should always seek advice tailored to their specific situation. Consequently, Blackadders accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage suffered by anyone acting or failing to act on the basis of information contained on this site. Downloading of material contained on this site is at the user’s own risk and all necessary virus checks must first be carried out by the user. Blackadders is not responsible for the material found on any web sites linked to this one and links to this site may only be made with Blackadders prior consent.
Blackadders owns the copyright in this blog and all material contained on it. The material on this site may be downloaded for personal use only and must not be altered. Otherwise, Blackadders’ written consent is required before any material on this site is reproduced, copied or transmitted in any way.
Information passed to us via this site is kept confidential and will not be disclosed to third parties except if authorised by you or required by law.
© Blackadders LLP 2011
Members of the Law Society of Scotland.
Blackadders Solicitors is a trading name of Blackadders LLP, a limited liability partnership, registered in Scotland No SO301600 whose registered office is 30 & 34 Reform Street, Dundee, DD1 1RJ. Reference to a ‘partner’ is to a member of Blackadders LLP.Back to News & Legal Updates