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The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced a scheme to mane employers who fail to pay employment tribunal awards. This will apply to tribunal awards registered with BEIS on or after 18 December 2018.

Claimants will have to fill in an Employment Tribunal penalty form to register with both the penalty scheme and the naming scheme for their employer to be eligible for naming. Tribunal awards of £200 or more which are registered with the schemes are in scope for naming.

An enforcement officer will have to verify the claim, and a warning notice will be sent to the employer, advising that if it does not pay the award it will face a penalty and public naming. If the award remains outstanding after 28 days the employer is sent a penalty notice, ordering them to pay a penalty to the value of 50% of the original award amount and 8% interest per annum. The amount of the penalty is 50% of the unpaid relevant sum, subject to a minimum of £100 and a maximum of £5,000.

When a penalty notice is issued, employers will be sent a naming notification letter advising that they will be named unless they submit valid representations within 14 days and their representations are accepted. This letter will only be sent if the claimant has agreed for their employer to be named. In cases where representations are made by the employer to BEIS, the employer will have to provide evidence in support of its case for not being named. Representations may be accepted if they meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Naming carries a risk of personal harm to an individual, their family or other employees
  • There are national security risks associated with naming in the particular case
  • There are other particular factors which suggest it would not be in the public interest to name the employer
  • The employment tribunal award has been paid in full (for which proof is submitted and verified)

This article is taken from HR Law - January 2019.