Leading outsourced HR and Personnel Law firm, Direct Law and Personnel, have further strengthened their service portfolio with the introduction of a highly effective Legal Expenses Insurance Scheme. The new policy protects businesses from the increasing cost of defending employment tribunals and legal action taken against them by employees. In addition, if an award is made against the business at a tribunal, the policy covers this expense as well.
With tribunal claims for unfair dismissal up from 40,941 (07/08) to 52,711 (08/09) according to the Tribunals Service, the cost for defending these types of actions is now a real concern for many organisations. Insurance policies can be deceptive however and many offer little in the way of real protection.
David Hudson, Director of insurance broker Buckland Harvester comments: “DLP’s insurance scheme is designed to give businesses effective cover from the rising cost of tribunals. It offers far more protection than other policies on the market where claim avoidance is often the insurer’s first priority.”
An example of how the new package will help is given by one of DLP’s clients, Dr. Biswas partner at Beacon Primary Care who have 3 practice sites in the North West, says:”Today we won a tribunal case brought against us by an employee. We were judged to have correctly followed all of the relevant employment procedures and won the case but we are still left with a considerable legal bill. The new legal expense policies are a great addition to DLP’s services and we have signed up right away.”
Beacon Primary Care’s advocate in this tribunal, Ian Proctor, said “this case highlights the dangers for employers as the Claimant was able to argue quite credibly that she had a claim. She was also able to criticise the procedure even though when tested at Tribunal this criticism was shown to be without merit. Good representation by DLP with my assistance meant the outcome was positive.
The general rule is however, that the Tribunal will not award Legal Costs to be paid, hence the winning employer (or employee) will not recover these costs and so will be out of pocket.“
MD of DLP, Judith Fiddler commented: “Concern over legal expenses is now very much a sign of the times and many of our clients have been asking us about the benefits of these sorts of insurance policies and whether they needed one. We decided to look at the market, to ensure they were something meaningful rather than just a gimmick.
Our research led us to conclude that the right package can offer real value to our clients and we decided to develop a policy that we’re now able to offer to our new and existing clients for as little as £1 per day. This covers them for both the cost of the defence and for awards for compensation.”