New Employment Tribunal Law will stamp out false claims
Tuesday 2nd July 2013
Our commercial law team has welcomed tough new employment laws that clamp down on false claims from aggrieved workers.
James Bellamy, our employment law specialist, says the introduction of fees is likely to discourage unauthentic claims before they reach a tribunal.
From next month claimants will have to pay between £160 and £250 to issue a claim and then a further fee of between £230 and £950 to proceed to a final hearing.
James says: "Employees have been using the system as a way of extorting a settlement payment on a commercial basis from the employer and this has resulted in us having too many spurious claims in the system.
"The changes will make people think much harder about whether they want to proceed, especially if they have to pay out £1,000 or more in tribunal costs to make their case."
In addition to the introduction of fees, the new law will address the amount of compensation available in cases of unfair dismissal. The upper limit will remain the same at £74,200 but those who earn less than this will receive no more than the equivalent of one year’s salary. Compensation for cases that involve discrimination or whistle-blowing will not be capped.
James explains: "For the employer this means that they are in a better position to settle the matter before it reaches the legal system as employees will cease to have unrealistic ideas of compensation."
He said that judges would also play a role in weeding out cases that are seen as having no real prospect of success before they come to tribunal. The responsibility would then be on the claimant to prove they had a case worthy of consideration.
There were 46,300 cases of unfair dismissal in 2011/12, 1,600 fewer than the previous year.
James concludes: "Employment law can be very complex and is one of the areas where Marsden Rawsthorn can provide expertise and guidance. Our advice would always be to consult a specialist in this area if you are considering legal action."
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