Dental employers “be prepared”

Law & Regulation
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Goodman Grant warns dental employers must "be prepared" after employment tribunal ruling

Activists are hailing a Supreme Court decision to revoke fees for employment tribunals, while legal experts warn employers that the decision may lead to a significant upsurge in cases being brought before such tribunals.

Since 2013 employees in the UK have been required to pay up to £1,200 to bring their complaints of unfair treatment or dismissal before an employment tribunal – with an estimated 70% drop in such cases during the past four years.The Supreme Court has now ruled that the fees were unlawful and unconstitutional. 

John Grant of Goodman Grant Solicitors, a leading UK law firm providing specialist legal services to the dental profession, believes employers should be prepared for a likely reverse of that figure following the ruling.

He explained: “This is very significant not only for employees but also employers, who must continue to ensure that employment issues are dealt with in accordance with employers legal obligations or run the risk of being sued. This applies not only to employees, but also to anyone engaged on a self-employed basis, such as associates and hygienists. Compliance starts from the moment you commence the recruitment process – right the way through to providing a former member of staff with a reference – it’s not just about the people who are actually engaged by a practice at any particular time.

“Employers who do not deal with staff in accordance with Employment Legislation now face a far greater threat of being sued as the application fees, which previously deterred so many people, are no longer a barrier to bringing a claim.”

The government has also pledged to reimburse the estimated £27 million in tribunal fees paid since 2013.