Employees can bring claims against directors under the Employment Rights Act and the Equality Act if they feel they have been treated unfairly. Claims can include unfair dismissal, which is usually brought against the company, and harassment and discrimination, which are brought against the individual director and have uncapped awards.
The changing face of employment means that legislation in this area is constantly evolving and directors need to be aware of the implications for their company.
For example, the introduction in July 2013 of fees for employees lodging tribunals has significantly reduced the number of cases being brought, although the potential exposure has increased as fees are also awarded if the defendant loses. Similarly, the use of early conciliation through the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas), which was introduced in April 2014, should help to resolve more cases before they reach court. But there is a risk that if the employer does not follow the procedures laid down, they could inadvertently weaken their position.
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