Tribunal fees

Fees to access Employment Tribunals were abolished by the Supreme Court earlier this year. Laura Chalkley, Employment Advisory Service Manager at NPA business partner Ellis Whittam takes a look at what that means for pharmacies.

What is happening following the judgment?

Individuals who paid fees at an Employment Tribunal or Employment Appeal Tribunal between July 2013 and
July 2017, can now apply for a refund. This includes employers, so if you were ordered by a tribunal to reimburse the fees of an employee who brought a claim against you and you have evidence that demonstrates this, you can apply for a refund.

What is going to happen to historic claims?
It is not known what will occur to those employees who did not submit a claim or had their case thrown out because of fees during July 2013 and July 2017. It is likely that it will be dependent on the type of claim and the circumstances. It is not impossible that some claims of this nature, even though they are many months or years out of time on the face of things, may be allowed to continue.

So what does this all mean for pharmacies?
With fees scrapped, it will be easier for employees to bring a genuine case to an Employment Tribunal but it could also give rise to vexatious and frivolous clams. What it really highlights is that it’s time for all pharmacy owners to make sure their employment practices can stand up to scrutiny. 

To do this, here are four key tips for your pharmacy:

  1. Make sure all your staff are on the right contract and you understand the obligations for each type of contract.
  2. Review your Employee Handbook to make sure that you have clear and robust policies and procedures in place which comply with current legislation.
  3. Make sure all managers have been suitably trained in HR and Employment Law matters.
  4. Seek legal advice when dealing with complex workplace issues, for example grievances, dismissal and TUPE.

Call the NPA Employment Law Advisory Service Team on 0330 123 0558 or email employmentadvice@npa.co.uk to find out more.

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