Our tribunal advocate, George Miller, explains the tribunal trends we’ve seen in the last year (and how to avoid being on the wrong side of a claim).
Poor claims designed to elicit cash
Lack of evidence and bringing every claim under the sun are common. But, tribunals are wise to employees manoeuvring employers into defending claims without the prospect of success. They’re striking out claims and issuing orders for employees to pay money into the tribunal to continue with their claim.
Low value claims
There’s been an increase in claims for smaller amounts of cash – like holiday and notice pay for example.
A long time for cases to be heard
15 months in some cases for the claim to be heard at tribunal. Tactically lengthy waiting times can take the wind out of an employee’s sails, but often you’re as keen to dispose of the case as they are!
Increase in claims being withdrawn
We’re increasingly successful in encouraging employees to withdraw their case or settle for low values. It’s still only 10% of cases that ultimately end up going to a full hearing.
Lack of fees make tribunal claims attractive to disgruntled employees, but there’s plenty you can do to avoid one landing…
- Train – great managers to have great conversations
- Talk – nip issues in the bud early to avoid escalation and surprises
- Respect – deliver consistent decisions in accordance with company values
- Culture – drive great behaviours and trust so employees know you’re trying to get it right
- Processes – set, update, and communicate sound processes to support challenging employment issues
- Performance – communicate frequently and follow up often
- Evidence – keep records on a great people system (they’re your first defence)
- Precedents – don’t settle unless you really need to (if you’re known to pay out at the sniff of a claim you can often find plenty more landing your way).
Watch this space for news on when tribunal fees are set to be introduced again (no news yet!).