The compensation culture may have just received its greatest support to date, following the Supreme Court ruling to axe employment tribunal fees.
Describing it as a classic “business banana skin”, Ed Reeves explains why British employment law has caused him to get a bit of a bee in his bonnet.
Research commissioned by Citrus HR found that small business owners would take on more staff if employment law was made simpler – with few saying they had adequate knowledge of the subject.
Since April 2014 a number of changes to claims issued and defended in employment tribunals have been introduced: potential claimants must refer their claim to ACAS first; fees must be paid; and, in circumstances where the employer’s behaviour is deemed to be malicious or have aggravating features, they may be obliged to pay a financial penalty (anything between £100 and £5000) to the government.
A Labour Government elected next year would scrap the coalition's reforms to the tribunal system, shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna announced yesterday.
The introduction of tribunal fees has caused a massive fall in the number of claims, according to a Trades Union Congress (TUC) report published today.
Employment tribunal claims slumped by 79 per cent year-on-year in the last quarter of 2013 following government changes aimed at easing the burden of tribunals on employers.
According to the UK Government, between April 2011 and March 2012 there were 186,300 Employment Tribunal cases in the UK, in which the median compensation claim for an unfair dismissal cost each business £4,560.
Over the past ten years there has been a dramatic increase in employment tribunals (ET), with single and accepted employment claims increasing from approximately 135,000 in 2001 to approximately 220,000 in 2011 – a rise of 63 per cent (Ministry of Justice figures).
Generally (but not exclusively), it's good news. Changes to employment tribunal rules, and what they mean for you.
I never thought I would live to see the day when I felt nostalgia for 70s trade unions, but now I am not so sure.