The Employment Tribunal has seen a significant increase in multiple cases being brought compared to figures from 2019.

In the last quarter of 2020, the Employment Tribunal saw an increase of over 80% for multiple claim cases being brought compared to a 25% increase for single claim cases. It is believed that the increase is due to the change in working life, furlough and companies having to make redundancies to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Breaches of the working time regulations has now replaced unfair dismissals as the most common claim and age discrimination claims have also seen a rise. This could be because companies are selecting older staff members for redundancy over younger members or it is claims being brought from younger workers who have been the most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic as a large percentage of them work in hospitality and/or retail.

It goes without saying that the Covid-19 pandemic has not only affected employees but significant change has had to be made to all businesses alike. There is now the additional responsibility of ensuring that all employees and all business premises adhere to the high Covid-19 compliant Health & Safety standards. As a result of this added pressure and cost, it is suspected that the number of Health & Safety claims being brought to the tribunal will also increase as lockdown is eased, furlough ends and businesses work towards resuming ‘business as usual’.

Therefore, to avoid the potential of health and safety claims or any other claims being brought against your company, it is important to firstly ensure that you have clear policies and procedures in place. Policies that you may wish to introduce are:

  • A Covid-19 policy which includes guidance on what to do if you are required to self-isolate
  • A Vaccination policy detailing whether you’re offering any incentives or allowing time off to get vaccinated
  • A Furlough policy which confirms details of the scheme and explains flexible furlough. Even though the furlough scheme is expiring in September, it would still be helpful to have in place

It may also be useful to also update your Working from Home policy or your Health and Safety policy all of which a member of our team would be happy to do for you.

If you are looking for more bespoke assistance, we also offer Augment, which is a retainer service that provides ad hoc employment law advice for a monthly fee. The fee is dependent on the size of your company and what services you may require so please do not hesitate to get in touch to be provided with an initial quote.

Otherwise, should you find yourself in a position whereby a tribunal claim has been issued against you, do not hesitate to get in contact as a member of the Employment team will be able to deal with that and any other queries you may have.

Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.

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