On the 6th April 2014 the Government introduced new financial penalties for employers who lost in the Employment Tribunal. Employer’s who breached a worker’s rights where there was one or more aggravating features faced potential fines.
In response to a parliamentary question, the business minister admitted this week that it had only been used 18 times since April 2014 and that of those 18 times where a fine was imposed only 12 were paid in full. Despite a taskforce designed to ensure that judgments are enforced it seems that even the Government is not immune to the same problem employees’ face that they may not actually ever see the money even if they win. The fines in question go straight to the Government not the worker who rights were breached and has to date netted the Government a mere £17,704.00.
I know from experience that to date the penalties have been little used in practice although it is still relatively new so perhaps it will grow in popularity. I do not believe that over the past almost 3 years there have only been 18 cases with aggravating features. It would be interesting to have more information on the news story and the sort of scenarios that Judges are awarding the penalties in. As always watch this space.