Employment Tribunals and Aggravating Features

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From 6th April 2014, employers will face financial penalties where they are found to have breached an employee’s rights and where the Tribunal considers that the employer’s behaviour had one or more “aggravating feature”.

But what does this mean?
As helpful as ever, these are not defined but we’re led to believe that an aggravating feature can be where any action taken was deliberate, committed with malice or indeed negligent, for example the employer had repeatedly breached employment rights.

So, if I lose at Tribunal, will this trigger a penalty?
Unlikely. But unreasonable ways of dealing with the proceedings, for example, could result in a fine being paid.

What will I have to pay?
Where compensation is awarded, the penalty will be set at 50% of that amount, with a minimum of £100 and a maximum of £5,000. You will have a “discount” of 50% however, if the penalty is paid within 21 days.

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