Three in five employers, or 61 per cent, have experienced an employee claiming unfair dismissal and ‘tagging on’ a discrimination claim in the hope of getting more compensation, according to the Conflict Management survey of 206 UK employers by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
The survey also finds that 70 per cent of employers are using compromise agreements to avoid tribunal claims. Compromise agreements follow a termination of employment and usually provide a severance payment from the employer, in return for which the recipient agrees not to pursue any claim to an employment tribunal.
Some 52 per cent of employers say their use of these types of agreements has risen in the last two years.
Mike Emmott, employee relations adviser at the CIPD, says that the government’s plans to increase the minimum period employees serve before they can claim unfair dismissal from 12 months to two years will do little to reduce the number of claims.
Adds Emmott, ‘This is because many claims are linked to discrimination claims which can be made from day one of employment. The main problem is that the employment tribunal system itself is broken and its costs and benefits are wholly out of line.’
Emmott calls on the government to take a ‘radical look’ at employment rights.