Minister for Employment Relations, Jo Swinson, has announced that the introduction of fines for employers in employment tribunal proceedings will come into force in April 2014.
The proposal that employers could be fined up to £5,000 for management failings which result in a tribunal claim being raised was passed into law in April 2013 as part of the employment law reforms contained in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act. However no firm implementation date had been confirmed until the minister’s announcement.
It is not clear to what extent tribunals will utilise the new power and in what circumstances they will do so, but it is anticipated that employers could expect to face fines where they have manifestly failed to follow processes and treated the employee particularly unfairly. The fines will be payable directly to the tribunal service and will be paid separately to any compensation that the employee is awarded by the tribunal.