3 things to look out for this quarter…by Chris McAvoy

1. Online database of Employment Tribunal decisions
It’s expected that recent Employment Tribunal decisions will, in the coming months,
be available online, free of charge, enabling the general public to access them much
more easily than they are able to now.
Do you have a case going to a Tribunal hearing soon? If so, does the thought of the
general public (including prospective employees and/or the press) being able to easily
track down and review the decision change your view on whether you should be going

2. Gender pay gap reporting
Undisputedly, average pay for men is greater than that for women. According to the
Office for National Statistics, in 2016, the gap was 9.4% for full-time employees and
18.1% for all employees. To help address this it’s expected that, from 6 April 2017,
large private and voluntary sector employers (those with 250 or more employees on 5
April of each year) must publish a range of gender pay gap figures.
Do you have 250 or more employees in your organisation? Most companies probably
haven’t thought about producing these statistics or what they might show. Have you?

3. UK Supreme Court to hear Employment Tribunal fees
Since July 2013, most claimants wishing to pursue claims in the Employment Tribunal
have had to pay a lodging fee of either £160 or £250. To proceed to a hearing, fees of
£230 or £950 are also payable. This fee regime has been challenged by public sector
trade union UNISON and the UK Supreme Court is due to consider their latest
challenge on 27 and 28 March 2017.
Although the earlier courts had noted a “startling” reduction in the volume of claims
following the introduction of the fee regime, they found no safe legal basis for finding
that the fees were making it impossible or excessively difficult for a significant number
of claimants to enforce their rights. Essentially, the evidence that claimants “can’t pay”
as opposed to “won’t pay” was insufficient.
Have UNISON now found evidence enabling the Courts to reach such a finding? We’ll
just have to wait and see.

Chris McAvoy

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