Employment tribunal claims for individuals increased by 18 per cent between April and June 2020 when compared to the same period last year.
According to the latest Ministry of Justice figures 10,000 people put in an employment tribunal claim during Q2 (that is claims from individuals rather than group claims).
It is highly likely that the rise in unemployment and changes to working conditions during the pandemic have contributed to the increase, but the statistics also suggest that employers who found themselves making difficult and hurried decisions might have failed to follow proper procedures.
It is interesting also that of those cases that the Employment Tribunal did deal with during Q2 the most common complaint was unfair dismissal, whereas in the same period in 2019 it was ‘unauthorised deductions’.
There is no doubt that the pandemic has caused businesses to rapidly reassess how they operate day-to-day, as well as the types and numbers of staff required. Businesses face a fight for survival, while employees face great uncertainty.
The fact is though that employment law has not changed – redundancy procedures must be followed, employment rights still stand and discrimination is unlawful.
It’s easy to see how mistakes can be made when employers find themselves thrown into the types of difficult situations that at the start of the year none of us could have predicted, but it is vital that during these unprecedented times fair decisions are taken and proper processes followed.
Sadly, I expect the upward trend in the numbers of employment tribunal cases will continue, especially as the furlough scheme ends.
Whether you are an employer who needs to ensure you are following the correct procedures or an employee who is facing redundancy, we can give you the advice and guidance that you need. Please call 01782 205000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org