What do the official figures show?
It has been reported that the number of claims lodged at employment tribunals drastically surged during the first three months of lockdown. The official figures show that in the months of April, May and June of 2020, there was an 18 per cent rise in claims submitted at an employment tribunal, compared to the same three months in 2019. The figures show that a total of 10,318 individual claims were submitted in those three months of 2020, compared to 8,772 individual claims in 2019.
In addition to the increase in cases submitted, there was a decrease in claims being disposed of. This is when the court issues a summary judgment without a full hearing taking place, therefore meaning that more cases were progressing to full hearings. These dropped by 21 per cent, from 5,695 in 2019, to 4,496 in 2020.
Why have the figures increased so drastically?
COVID-19 stands at the forefront of most problems faced by companies, along with everything else, at this current time. It is suspected that the increase in claims comes from the huge impact that COVID-19 has had on the economy and the rate of unemployment. Whilst the pandemic has had a drastic effect on companies, and businesses are having to reassess how they operate day to day, the figures suggest that Companies having to make sudden and drastic decisions to keep their business going, may have failed to follow correct processes.
Some employers who are currently still using the Furlough scheme may be waiting for the scheme to end before they make any decisions regarding their workforce. We expect that the numbers of cases will continue to rise, especially with the end of the Furlough scheme imminent.
How to reduce the chances of an employee making a tribunal claim?
Sadly, we are not always able to stop an individual making a claim, however, you can mitigate the risk by ensuring that correct processes and procedures are followed as part of all your decision making and as part of any dismissal.
We know that at the moment, Companies are having to make tough decisions regarding their workforce, and unfortunately that does include making jobs redundant, changing the way individuals work and having to reduce costs where possible. Employees are entitled to be consulted with, be paid rightfully owed monies, and they are entitled to be included in a fair and consistent process.
If your business needs HR support or if you would like to talk about your company’s options, get in touch with HR Caddy today! We can help you mitigate the risk of a tribunal claim!