I’m not claiming to be Mystic Meg, but I knew I would be spot on with my prediction when the Supreme Court deemed employment tribunal fees to be illegal in 2017.
I said there would be a flood of claims against businesses, and I have been proven 100 percent correct!
According to stats from the Ministry of Justice, employees brought 9,340 individual claims to tribunals in the year to April 2019, up from 5,520 the previous year.
Most significantly, of the cases brought to tribunal last year only three in ten of all employment tribunal claims that were resolved were successful. That says to me there are a large number brought by employees that see tribunals as a way of making easy money from a claim that would cost virtually nothing to lodge.
Since the fees were scrapped it’s a no-lose situation for workers and put massive pressure on businesses. Employees are entering the lottery and businesses are having to pay for the ticket. The Supreme Court made a huge mistake two years ago and now the chickens are coming home to roost.
Of course, there are genuine claims out there and businesses don’t want to be sat opposite their workers in a tribunal, but lots of people now see going to an employment tribunal as a way of making a quick buck.
And I’m not saying that bosses are all angels – that would be stupid, there are always good and bad in any bunch of individuals. But the no-fee system is a huge incentive to have a go at an employer. Ex-staff would have nothing to lose and half a chance of a few grand in their pocket.
By reopening the floodgates on this the Supreme Court has, in the stroke of a pen, reintroduced the fear of God into employers, over taking on staff to grow their businesses.
The no-fee system is a huge incentive to have a go at an employer and makes businesses think twice about taking a chance on employing someone. With the fees in place there is more chance for issues to be resolved in-house by HR teams.
When David Cameron brought in the fees it proved that there was no truth in a huge amount of the cases as they dropped by 79% over three years. But things are going in the opposite direction and something needs to be done before some businesses are brought to their knees by spurious claims.
The Government has to step in and whoever becomes Prime Minister in the coming weeks needs to make sure this is dealt with, and quickly before many more businesses find themselves facing the prospect of defending against malicious claims.