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Financial penalties for employers losing in tribunal to be introduced in April 2014

Jo Swinson, Minister for Employment Relations, has posted on Twitter that the Government plans to implement S.16 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 on financial penalties for employers in April 2014. Under S.16, where an employment tribunal decides that the employer has breached any of the worker’s rights to which the claim relates, and the breach has one or more aggravating features, the tribunal may order the employer to pay a penalty to the Secretary of State (whether or not it also makes a financial award against the employer). If the tribunal makes just a non-financial award (e.g. an order for reinstatement) then any financial penalty imposed must be at least £100 and cannot exceed £5,000. If the remedy awarded by the employment tribunal to the claimant is a compensation award, then any financial penalty imposed must be set at 50% of the amount of the claimant’s financial award, subject to a minimum of £100 and a maximum of £5,000.

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