Enforcement of Employment Tribunal Awards

Rose, Emily and McDermont, Morag and Busby, Nicole and Sales, Adam and Kirk, Eleanor (2014) Enforcement of Employment Tribunal Awards. [Report]

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    Abstract

    This report examines the experiences of Employment Tribunal (ET) claimants after an ET award was made in their favour. A workers’ success in the ET is by no means the end of the story when it comes to achieving justice for a wrongdoing against them in the workplace. Enforcing an award made by an ET can itself be highly problematic . 1 The data presented in this report were collected as part of a European Research Council funded project entitled Citizens Advice Bureaux and Employment Disputes . 2 The overall aim of this project was to understand workers’ experiences as they attempted to resolve problems faced at work, including identifying potential barriers to justice. Our particular focus was on workers who could not easily afford the services of a solicitor. As such, participants were recruited through Citizens Advice Bureaux (CABx) who are a key provider of employment advice to this group. We tracked the experiences of workers as they sought to resolve their workplace disputes – from their initial advice sessions with CABx to the closure ( or in some cases abandonment ) of the problem. The vast majority of our participants who pursued their claims in the ET did so prior to the introduction of fees on 29 July 2013. The report focuses on the paths taken and overall outcomes for participants who were successful with their claim in the ET. It begins by providing a brief overview of the system for enforcing ET awards. The key findings from our participant group are then presented in three sections : firstly, a summary of the outcomes of our participants; secondly, experiences of those who took formal action to enforce their ET awards; and, thirdly, experiences of those who did not take formal action to enforce their ET awards. Finally, detailed vignettes elaborating on and contextualising these findings in relation to specific individuals are presented.