Tribunals cost firms £1.6bn

EMPLOYMENT tribunals cost UK businesses a staggering £1.6bn in 2010, according to new figures released today.

According to Ambition, the global recruitment firm, just one in twenty HR professionals fully understands the employment tribunal process.

That means the majority of firms – one in five – settle every single tribunal case before they get to court, even if they have a good chance of winning.

The average cost of settling a tribunal is £5,400 while an employer who chooses to defend themselves will typically pay £8,500. That is before one counts the amount of business hours that are lost to tribunal sessions and meetings with lawyers.

Tim Gilbert, UK managing director of Ambition said: “High costs, a lack of understanding and worry over bad publicity means the majority of business decide to settle claims before they end up in court”.

Vince Cable, business secretary, is planning to introduce changes to make tribunals fairer for employers.