Is your construction firm prepared for employment disputes?

More employment tribunals have been avoided thanks to a new service setup to resolve issues before they escalate, new figures reveal.

The latest annual report published by workplace experts ACAS shows demand for its early dispute resolution service ‘Pre-Claim Conciliation’ (PCC), rose by a third (34%) in 2011/12. The organisation dealt with 23,777 cases during the period – 6,000 more cases than the previous year. This has resulted in thousands of people avoiding the need to go to an employment tribunal.

Pre-Claim Conciliation was launched in April 2009 and aims to resolve workplace problems before they result in a costly and stressful employment tribunal claim. This year’s figures highlight that the number of cases that don’t go on to become an employment tribunal claim increased to 78 per cent from 74 per cent last year. Unfair Dismissal is the most common problem handled through PCC, followed by claims about wages, breach of contract, holiday and disability discrimination.

The success of PCC has led to the Government proposing that anyone intending to make an employment tribunal claim should come to Acas first.
The new service, called early conciliation, will start from 2014.

Ed Sweeney, Acas Chair, said: “It’s very good to see that more people are resolving disputes earlier by using our pre-claim conciliation service. Our new early conciliation service will mean that disputes will be referred to Acas before a tribunal claim can be lodged and I hope it will build on the success of PCC when it’s introduced in 2014.

“Acas helps reduce the cost, stress and time involved in disputes at work. Our latest annual report proves that where individuals, businesses, unions or their representatives use Acas conciliation, positive results are achieved in the majority of cases.”

Commenting on the figures, David Hudson, managing director of leading Manchester commercial insurance brokers Buckland Harvester, said: “The fear of an employee bringing a claim against their business is enough to put off many entrepreneurs from taking on staff in the first place which obviously prevents growth and expansion. Anything which can halt a lengthy and costly employment tribunal has to be welcomed and businesses should seek specialist advice on their HR policies to ensure they minimise the risk of this happening.

Employment law insurance is becoming critical to modern day businesses because of the financial and commercial consequences of a claim and the increased threat it poses to firms. These products cover your legal liability following a dispute and not only cover your legal costs and expenses they will also pay any civil award of compensation brought against you. It’s an area which should never be overlooked.”

Property Aspects thank Buckland Harvester for their expert advice in compiling this article.

Please contact them here Buckland Harvester Website