‘Respect rights of your employees’

David Southern, Linder Myers

David Southern, Linder Myers

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Employers have been urged not to abuse their power as new rules concerning Employment Tribunals take hold.

The Citizens Advice Bureau has recently published research revealing a 70 per cent decrease in the number of disputes reaching the Employment Tribunal courts as employees are deterred by newly introduced fees.

Employers should beware not to abuse this however, say specialists at Linder Myers Solicitors.

According to the CAB, the majority of claims now not reaching the courts include disputes relating to unfair dismissal and employers withholding wages and holiday pay, which indicates that some employers may be taking unfair advantage of staff.

David Southern, employment specialist at Linder Myers in Lancashire, said: “The fees were introduced in July 2013 with the objective of minimising the number of less serious disputes being escalated to Employment Tribunals which, according to the recent research and Government figures, has been successful.

“Employers should be aware however, that they still have a duty to treat staff fairly and to honour their obligations.

“The arbitration service ACAS has launched a free Early Conciliation service to help resolve less serious disputes and reach a fair conclusion for both parties.”

New rules mean that all employment disputes have to be lodged with ACAS in the first instance with both parties encouraged to reach a conciliatory and fair resolution before the matter can be escalated to an Employment Tribunal.

The initial fees for lodging a claim at the Employment Tribunal start from £160 for straight forward claims, increasing to £250. This can rise to £1,200 if the claim reaches the Tribunal.