The TUC may feel that rogue employers have been handed a huge victory in the introduction of Tribunal fees.
But the reduction in claims that they highlight is affected by the new two-year service requirement for bringing claims. Now that period is established, the earlier level may yet recover to some degree. It is also significant that there are now better opportunities for settlements without a claim ever being made. Often this is better for both employee and employer.
The Government claim the Tribunal Service costs taxpayers £74M. My suggestion is that, compared to employers’ costs in defending claims, that amount is trifling. With defending a claim often costing £10K and sometimes many times more, employers costs collectively must top one billion pounds.
Employers now no longer have to defend claims from rogue employees who hereto have been able to put in a claim just because they had nothing to lose. Furthermore, costs are increasingly being awarded against claimants.
Sadly there will always be rogue employers. Fortunately Tribunals now have the power to levy an additional financial penalty of up to £5,000 against such employers if a claim against the employer is successful. So their victory could be short lived.
The real gainers from these changes are the good employers. They now have more confidence to engage new employees. Also benefitting, of course, are those now in employment who might not otherwise be.