Consultancy will cover clients’ tribunal costs

An HR consultancy is offering to cover the cost of employment tribunals
incurred by its clients.

Staffordshire-based Hemmingway has teamed up with a training company and a
law firm to provide auditing, training, advice and insurance against legal
action in a one-stop service.

The company claims it is the first to combine insurance and consultancy in this
way.

"We are looking to reduce the number of times employers are taken to
tribunal in the first place," said David Coward, solicitor at E-mploy Law,
which developed the product.

Dominic Johnson, head of employee relations at the CBI, said services like
this will become more common.

"The two things feed off each other. Insurers are only willing to
insure to the extent that they know policies and practices are sound," he
said.

Average premiums for a company with 40 line managers and a payroll of £13m
are £25,000, Coward said. The audit cost is £10,000 and a two-day training
course for line managers £12,000.

Demand for insurance to cover legal costs of actions by employees has soared
in recent months in anticipation of the £50,000 compensation limit for unfair
dismissal (Personnel Today, 7 December).

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