Small firms face ‘difficulties’ in taking a dispute to tribunal

Taking a dispute at work to an employment tribunal will 'definitely be more difficult' for employees and employers in small businesses compared with a larger company, according to an industry expert.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) says that SMEs will be affected by not having a HR department or team of in-house lawyers, whereas this facility is expected to be part of a large organisation.

Marion Seguret, senior policy advisor for the CBI, says: ‘A larger firm is likely to encounter claims more often whereas for small firms, it may be the first time and they may not be confident about it.’

She adds that SMEs may be less used to dealing with claims in court and employees could feel intimidated about creating an uncomfortable atmosphere in a small office environment.

According to the Tribunals Service, an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice, the number of employment tribunals in the UK rose by 15 per cent in 2006-07 to 132,577, from 115,039 the previous year.

See also: Navigating the employment tribunals process

Adam Wayland

Adam Wayland

Adam was Editor of SmallBusiness.co.uk from 2006 to 2008 and prior to that was staff writer on sister publication BusinessXL Magazine.

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