Employers pay out more than £83,000 in tribunal penalties
Employers have had to pay out more than £83,000 under the tribunal penalty regime that came into force last year.
Firms now face penalties of up to £5,000 for non-payment of tribunal awards under the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act. The regime applies to judgments made on or after 6 April, 2016.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has since issued 60 penalty notices following 164 warning notices to employers for failure to comply with employment tribunal orders to pay compensation to claimants.
A government spokesman said: “Failing to pay employment tribunal awards is unacceptable and the government is committed to tackling the issue. That is why last year we introduced penalties for employers who don’t pay claimants what they are owed.”
Meanwhile, the latest figures from the Ministry of Justice suggests claims to tribunals are continuing their steady increase. The number of claims fell from an average of 48,000 per quarter in 2012/13 to about 26,500 in 2013/14. The decline followed the introduction of tribunal fees of up to £1,200 in July 2013.
However, the figures started to rise again in 2015 and there were a total of 31,545 claims in the third quarter of last year, suggesting employees are becoming increasingly willing to take legal action if they feel they have been treated unfairly.
Please contact Jackie Cuneen if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of employment law.