Human Capital Department of King's Lynn advises employment claims can be resolved through conciliation
Local employers are facing an increasing number of employment tribunal claims. We are handling a large number of cases at the moment – mostly representing employers but we can also act for employees.
A common theme in cases is that the employment relationship has been mismanaged and typically HR policies and procedures have not been adhered to or have not existed at all.
It is now very easy to make a claim in an Employment Tribunal and, after a ruling in the Supreme Court, it is entirely free for the claimant, which partly explains why the number of claims have increased by 26 per cent year on year.
We anticipate this trend will continue with increased redundancies and dismissals exasperated by the pandemic.
As a result, the tribunals are facing long backlogs and wait times. This week I attended a pre-hearing review locally which resulted in a further hearing scheduled for June 2021. In another case which has now gone to appeal in the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), the original claim goes back to 2016.
If faced with a claim it is worth knowing that the government’s Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) will attempt to resolve the issue through conciliation before it reaches the court. This service is pragmatic, efficient and free!
Surprisingly, even if the case has gone beyond the conciliation time limit, and has been scheduled for an Employment Tribunal hearing, it is still not too late to resolve thorough the ACAS service and this even applies to cases that have gone to EAT appeal.
The best solution for employers is to put in place appropriate HR practices so that either issues do not arise in the first place, or they do they are addressed through processes such as a formal grievance procedure.