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Many were shocked last year when the Supreme Court ruled that employment tribunal fees and tribunal appeal fees were unlawful.
As a result employees no longer have the deterrent of fees if they feel they have been treated badly. Unsurprisingly, tribunal claims were up by 64% by December.
· Employees are more likely to take action for low value claims, such as unpaid wages
· Your procedures and policies are more likely to be scrutinised by a tribunal
· Employees are more likely to take a chance on a weak case
· It may pay to seek to seek early conciliation through ACAS to save incurring legal costs
· It is anticipated that potential claimants who were deterred from bringing a claim or lodging an appeal due to fees may be allowed to submit a claim out of time. This could lead to some late claims being lodged.
· Some businesses may wish to identify “high-risk” dismissals that took place while fees were payable and consider how strong a position they will be in to defend such claims
· You should consider your insurance policies in relation to tribunal litigation as these may need review
· Finally if you lost a claim after the introduction of fees in 2013 and had to reimburse the employee’s fees, you will be due a refund.