Financial Penalties for Breaches of Employment Rights with “Aggravating Features” to be Imposed in the UK from April 2014

March 19, 2014

At present, when an employment tribunal finds in favour of a claimant, it does not have any power to penalise the employer for breaching the statutory employment obligations it owes to the individual other than by way of an award of compensation or, in discrimination cases, awards in respect of injury to feelings, exemplary damages and aggravated damages. This will change from 6 April 2014, when employment tribunals will have the ability to impose a financial penalty on employers against whom a successful employment tribunal claim is brought where there is a breach of the individual’s statutory rights which has one or more “aggravating features”.

The aim of this penalty is to encourage employers to take appropriate steps to ensure that they meet their obligations in respect of their staff and to reduce deliberate and repeated breaches of employment laws.

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