Employment Tribunal Claims – Are you adequately protected?
When the Ministry of Justice recently released its quarterly report on the Employment Tribunal statistics for the period from October to December 2020, it will have come as little surprise to most that the number of claims filed with the employment tribunals in this period has increased significantly compared to the same period in the previous year.
During the period to which these statistics relate, the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic had started to take hold and a large increase in unemployment was already apparent. The statistics clearly reflect these factors. The report shows that claims from single claimants increased by 25% (as compared to the previous year), whilst multiple claims (i.e. claimants joining together to make a claim based on the same set of facts) were up by 82%. This is likely to be a result of employers changing the terms and conditions of their workforces and/or conducting large scale redundancy exercises in the immediate aftermath of the first lockdown.
We predict that the number of employment tribunal claims being filed is going to continue to rise for the next year at least. A major contributing factor to the increase in employment related litigation will undoubtedly be the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly with the end of the furlough scheme in September this year and the number of reorganisations and/or redundancies that this is likely to bring. Not only will this cause an increased number of unfair dismissal and failure to inform and consult claims but it is also likely to result in more discrimination claims as individuals seek to link their dismissals to a protected characteristic such as their age, their sex or a disability in order to maximize the amount of compensation that they are able to claim.
Changes to the off-payroll working (IR35) legislation that took place in April this year and the recent landmark court decisions on employment status (such as the Uber drivers case) are also likely to result in increased claims from individuals disputing their true employment status.
Being named as a Respondent in an employment tribunal claim can result in significant legal costs that no employer is likely to have budgeted for, or would want to deal with, especially in the current challenging economic climate. The employment team at Cripps has come up with a solution to protect employers against the unexpected and unwelcomed costs of employment litigation.
We have teamed up with Albion Legal to provide a highly flexible and comprehensive insurance scheme which protects businesses against all costs related to an employment tribunal claim including legal fees, agreed settlement sums and compensation awards. Our scheme offers businesses the flexibility to design their own bespoke policy with individual elements of cover.
Please see the link below for more information about the scheme including the main advantages of our scheme compared to others on the market and how to obtain a quote.
The statistics speak for themselves. Now is a better time than ever to protect your business against the costs of employment litigation.
Please contact Camilla Beamish for more information.