The Hidden Cost of Employment Tribunals

Published: 5th April 2019

No one wants an employment issue to escalate into a dispute that leads to a tribunal claim.  They are often a result of a catastrophic break down in trust, communication and understanding between employer and employee – and they are very stressful for all concerned.

Irrespective of the result, an employer will need to invest time, money and other resources into defending the claim – always with the fear of a fine if the tribunal finds against them.  What many businesses don’t realise, however, is how much time it can take for the dismissal event to actually get to a tribunal.

The CIPD recently highlighted their top 5 employment law cases that came before the courts in March 2019.  Here are their headline summaries of each:

1.     Trainee emergency call operator racially discriminated against during drug investigation – from August 2017

2.     Employee with depression awarded £35,000 after being denied flexible working – from November 2017

3.     Woman who could not access emails about redundancy while on maternity leave was not discriminated against – from Autumn 2016

4.     Railway worker was not entitled to 20 minute breaks – from July 2016

5.     Cinema employee accused of “cyber attack” was automatically unfairly dismissed – from July 2017

As you can see, the incidents that lead to the tribunals all took place in 2016 and 2017 – that’s a long time for any business to cope with the disruption that they cause.  The smaller the business, the bigger the disruptive effect.

Employment law specialists are indicating that new tribunal claims may not even be head (let alone finally judged) until 2020 at the earliest.

That’s why our approach is always to try and avoid employment issues escalating to Tribunal situations by providing practical advice, following sound procedures and communicating effectively with all parties.


For advice, support and guidance on all HR and people management issues call our team on 01484 841776 or email [email protected]