As employers of domestic and household staff, it’s difficult enough keeping abreast of changes to employment legislation and there have been quite a few in the recent past concerning changes to procedures in Employment Tribunals.
One big change was the introduction of charges for those bringing claims before a tribunal, and now there are changes to penalties against employers who lose a claim made by an ex-employee.
No matter how much you may disagree with a particular judgement against you, recent penalties have raised the bar on non-compliance with any directive to pay a compensation award.
In a little-publicised change to the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, a new provision came into force on 6th April 2016 which imposes a financial penalty in you fail to pay a tribunal or ACAS settlement award set against you.
In essence, once a ruling has been made against the liable employer and award decided, the employer will be issued with a warning notice.
If the employer still does not comply and pay, enforcement officers have the power to impose a financial penalty which can comprise: the costs awarded, the employment tribunal fees, any settlement reached through the ACAS Early Conciliation Service.
There are limits and parameters, however.
The amount of any imposed financial penalty must be 50% of the total amount owed to the Tribunal or Claimant, the penalty is subject to a minimum of £100 and a maximum of £5,000. Additionally, if an employer is issued with a penalty, they will be liable to the amount which they owe, as well as the amount of the penalty.
However, half of the fine can be waived and the penalty reduced, should the liable employer pay the sum within 14 days of the issuing of the penalty notice.