Member organisation and employment law specialists, the Forum of Private Business are using the case of Dr Eva Caneiro to highlight one of the biggest issues of the Employment tribunal system – the length of time it takes for a company to resolve an issue.

Dr Eva Caneiro left Chelsea Football club in September 2015 following an altercation with the club’s then manager, Jose Mourinho in August. Chelsea filed their defence in the tribunal hearing in December and another private preliminary hearing was held in January.
The case is being heard in the closed season, protecting the interests of the employer.

Ian Cass, Managing Director of the Forum points out, “The ten days alone allocated to hear the tribunal would have a massive impact on a smaller company, particularly as it is unlikely it would have been heard at a convenient time as has happened in this instance."

"However, whatever the size of company, it is still a very stressful experience and the timing of the case will not do anything for the reputation of the company or their former manager.”

Average clearance times for employment tribunals have dropped significantly in recent years, but they still remain too long. Single claim times are running on average at 29 weeks whilst multiple cases extend to 196 weeks, both lower in 2015 than the previous year. However the Forum would like targets to bring this down even further with a target of 3 months for single cases and multiple cases slashed to a year.

“The fact is that it still takes too long for companies to have these issues resolved. There is already a deterrent for businesses in terms of the fines that can be levied and that the complexity of law only makes it more likely that the best solution is to pay for the individual off,” argues Ian.

The Forum has reissued tips on how to avoid employment tribunals to help businesses understand how they can deal with employment disputes.

Ian concludes, “Some organisations will scare the living daylights out of you about employment tribunals but it is important to remember that good communication with clear contracts and letting all staff understand what is expected of them is important. Businesses need to act swiftly to nip any problems in the bud rather than let them linger, and treat all staff fairly.”


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About Forum of Private Business

The Forum of Private Business is a not-for-profit comprehensive business support organisation founded in 1977. Our membership is spread throughout the UK and primarily made up of companies that employ between 1-50 employees, helping them to manage employees, saving time, giving advice, support and protection where a business needs it.

We are a recognised leading authority on business issues and represent the interests of business owners on many consultative bodies. We have built a solid reputation, being influential in many areas of policy-making, in changing laws that affect small businesses, and we continue to campaign for the fair treatment of businesses within the UK.

Everything we do is about making sure our members’ businesses operate profitably. This means that every penny we make goes back in to supporting our members, providing the support and resources that will enable businesses to flourish and grow.