Its a new year coming..

30th December 2010

Its a new year coming..

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With a new year just a few days away, we look back at the main trend for 2010 and look forward to what’s just around the corner.

With the economic situation still feeling shaky, we have hopefully helped our clients to ensure that their businesses are in the best position to survive and thrive. However, one of the biggest trends we have seen over this year is that more employees are bringing claims in the tribunals and more employers are unwilling to negotiate settlement offers or to settle cases before tribunal. When money is tight and employment is harder to obtain, our tribunal caseload rises and employers have less of a budget for settlement. This is a trend that is likely to continue over 2011.

Of the tribunal cases we have dealt with over the past 12 months, not one of them was a simple unfair dismissal case, all of them having fairly complex elements relating to aspects of the discrimination legislation. We also had our first whistle-blowing case going to tribunal, which involved one of our witnesses being threatened and me being accused of defamation during the tribunal hearing, much to our amusement (we also won the case). However, with elements of employment law becoming increasingly complex and the types of claim available increasingly numerous, we think that this trend will also continue.

Given this trend for more tribunal claims, I wish I could at least say that we will have a legislatively calm 2011. However, this is already unlikely, with two big changes for 2011: the abolition of the default retirement age, which we have blogged about already, and the Agency Workers Regulations 2010, which are due to take effect on 1 October 2011, giving temporary agency workers equal treatment in comparison to permanent workers. I expect we will be writing at some length about that over the next few months.

After running EmployEase with Julie for 16 years I know that these trends will change, as they always do. In the meantime, I wish you have a settled and profitable 2011 and that hopefully, any more snow confines itself to ski resorts for the rest of the winter!



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