Businesses ignore employment tribunal changes at their peril

As employment law continues to evolve and update, it is the responsibility of small businesses to forearm themselves with knowledge and understanding about when amendments are to be introduced and what they mean in real terms to daily operations. For those who fail to do so, it often proves the case that they overlook employment law changes at their peril, and there are many changes that might prove particularly perilous to them in 2012.

Many small business owners and their human resources representatives had expected that unfair dismissal claims by ex-team members might reduce in 2012. Their expectations were due to amendments to legislation to be introduced in April 2012. After this, an individual will have to have been employed by a business for a minimum of two years before they qualify to instigate an unfair dismissal claim against ex-employers. Furthermore, these changes are due to be accompanied by the introduction of charges for employment tribunal claims, which many small businesses had hoped would act as a deterrent to past employees without genuine cases.

However, these forthcoming changes are perceived in many human resources circles as something of a double edged sword. It is anticipated that many ex-employees may chance their arms with discrimination claims to avoid incurring employment tribunal costs for unfair dismissal. Furthermore, employers who have unfair dismissal cases successful brought against them face higher penalties following an increase in the maximum award amount from £68,400 up to £72,300 in February 2012.

At NorthgateArinso, help is at hand for small businesses concerned about keeping up with employment law and fearful of contravening it as a result of lacking knowledge. Our expert outsourced human resources services advise small business owners about what employment law expects of them and how to incorporate these expectations in to their workplaces.