Tribunal enforcer role backed by CBI

The CBI has backed calls for state-led enforcement of employment tribunal awards after research found more than 1,000 workers had failed to receive their cash.

The report by charity Citizens Advice revealed that although the average annual number of successful employment tribunal claims over the past four years was 14,713, Citizens Advice saw roughly 1,000 cases related to unpaid awards each year.

Allowing for cases dealt with elsewhere, the Justice Denied report suggested that the total number of awards that went unpaid each year was as high as 1,500.

Most individuals denied their awards were employed in low-paid, low-skilled jobs, according to Citizens Advice, with the retail, catering, cleaning, construction and care sectors particularly bad at paying up.

The charity is calling for state-led enforcement of employment tribunal awards, which it claims would cost the government less than £500,000 per year.

CBI senior policy adviser Guy Bailey said non-payment was often down to poor administration or wilful non-payment by unscrupulous employers.

“The proposals to bring in High Court enforcement officers who are incentivised to collect money is a test we support,” he said.

Citizens Advice chief executive David Harker said: “The ability of rogue employers to ignore tribunal judgments with impunity seriously undermines the credibility of the employment tribunal system with both workers and employers.

“The current system is grossly unfair, both to those claimants who don’t receive the compensation due to them, and to the vast majority of employers who play by the rules and pay the awards made against them.”

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