Employment Tribunal Decisions Database Goes Online
The Ministry of Justice's new online database has now gone live, meaning that in future, employment tribunal decisions will be easily searchable. In the past, tribunal decisions have been available only by requesting a search at the Bury St Edmunds tribunal, which held past records of cases.
At present, the database is patchy and contains about 150 decisions dating back to 2015. However, it is expected that all decisions will be added in the future. Employment Appeal Tribunal judgments have been available online for years, but concerns have been raised about the effect of the new system – employers who have lost claims (or even settled, if a tribunal claim was made) will find that information is easily available, and database searches could become part of some employers' recruitment processes. Times subscribers can read more on this topic by Taylor Wessing's Vikki Wiberg here.
Tribunal review finds no evidence that individuals are prevented from bringing claims by fees
The Ministry of Justice has published the long-awaited results of its review of the introduction of fees in the employment tribunals.
The review acknowledges that there is has been a fall in claims, and one that has been significantly greater than was estimated when fees were first introduced. However, although it finds that individuals have been discouraged from making claims, it asserts that there is no conclusive evidence that they are prevented from doing so. It attributes the drop to those who are put off by the complexities of the remission scheme, or unaware of it, and to potential claimants prioritising other non-essential spending. The review has removed fees for certain claims against the National Insurance Fund (broadly, where an employer has gone into insolvency) with immediate effect.
To address concerns about the affordability of claims for those on low incomes, the review sets out a proposal for widening access to the Help With Fees scheme by raising the income level at which claimants can receive fee remission. A consultation on the changes runs until 14 March 2017.
National Minimum Wage rates to rise from 1 April
The National Minimum Wage (and National Living Wage) rates will increase from 1 April:
- for workers who are aged 25 or over, from (the National Living Wage) £7.20 to £7.50 per hour
- for workers who are aged 21 or over (but not yet aged 25), from £6.95 to £7.05 per hour
- for workers who are aged 18 or over (but not yet aged 21), from £5.55 to £5.60 per hour
- for workers who are under the age of 18, from £4.00 to £4.05 per hour
- For apprentices aged under 19 or in the first year of their apprenticeship, from £3.40 to £3.50 per hour
If an employer provides a worker with living accommodation, the maximum deduction from the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage which can be made will rise from £6.00 to £6.40 per day.
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