From April 2011 to March 2012 there were a total of 186,300 tribunal cases is the UK. The cost to employers was an average of £3900; the cost to the taxpayer was £1900 for each case. Of this total, 46,300 cases were due to unfair dismissal. 24% of the cases were withdrawn, 42% were settled via Acas, 8% were successful following hearing and 10% unsuccessful following hearing.
Since July 2013 a number of changes have been made including:
Cap on unfair dismissal – there is now a basic award which is based on redundancy; and the compensatory award is now capped at £74,200 or one year’s earnings.
Employment tribunal fees – fees are now charged for issuing and hearing tribunal claims and for various applications made during tribunal proceedings. Level 1 fees for simpler claims are £160 for issue and £230 for hearing. Level 2 fees for more complex claims including unfair dismissal and discrimination are £250 for issue and £950 for hearing.
Early sift stage – during this stage, the pleadings will be reviewed by a judge soon after the Tribunal claim form has been received, with claims or responses being struck out if the judge considers there is no reasonable prospect of success.
In addition, Acas is making pre-conciliation changes from early 2014 and financial penalties are being introduced for employers from 6 April 2014.
So should you settle or should you fight? If this all sounds too complicated for you, or you have any specific questions about changes to employment law, don’t go through it alone! Please get in touch by calling 0118 940 3032 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.