What will the ban on Employment Tribunal Fees mean for your Recruitment Agency?

The more eagle-eyed of you might have spotted my blog last month which discussed the increasing number of employment tribunals and what you can do to avoid them. Unfortunately we can now expect to see the number of employment tribunals rise even further as the Supreme Court have banned fees.

In the case of R (Unison) v Lord Chancellor (2017) it was unanimously decided that the fees imposed under the Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal Fees Order 2013 (“Fees Order”) prevent justice and are unlawful.

So, should we worry?

Employment Law specialist, Peninsula, have predicted that there will be a massive surge in employment tribunal claims because they will now have the opportunity to pursue their claim fee free.  The cost of a claim was a large deterrent for some people and as such cases from the last 3 months are expected to come out of the woodwork.

We’ve received notification that a former employee is taking us to an Employment Tribunal. What do we have to do?

Once you have received an ET1 form from a former employee you must respond with an ET3 form.

On this form you should respond to the claim, summarising the facts as you see them.

The ET3 form must be returned within 28 days. Within this time you should be able to decide whether you will be defending the claim or whether it would be more cost effective to settle outside of the tribunal.

If you do not respond with this form then the Tribunal is permitted to make a judgement in the employee’s favour, what’s known as a default judgement.  

If the commercial decision has been made to settle outside of the Tribunal, you need to have your former employee sign an ACAS COT3 form which will mean they cannot bring any further claims against you in respect of the issues already raised.

Once you have returned the ET3 form you should gather and take copies of any evidence which supports your defence. Ensure that you have copies of the former employee’s signed contract and any correspondence regarding and following their dismissal.

If you find yourself in this situation you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. Often the decision made at tribunal will come down to the contracts you have in place. Agencies who use TBOS are able to have their contracts prepared by our Contracts Department. For any further questions you can call TBOS on 0845 881 1112.

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