In December 2018, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) announced a scheme to name employers who fail to pay employment tribunal awards.
Back in July 2017, the Taylor Review was published, and the Government backed the proposal to establish a naming and shaming scheme, where those employers who do not pay employment tribunal awards within a reasonable time frame are named in a form of public humiliation.
The scheme is currently in operation and the intention is to act as a deterrent and encourage employers to make payments in a timely fashion. The scheme works in a similar fashion to that of those employers who have underpaid the minimum wage and it runs parallel to the existing employment tribunal penalty scheme (established back in April 2016), whereby additional financial penalties can be imposed on employers where awards are unpaid for 42 days after the tribunal’s decision.
The naming shaming scheme works by disgruntled employees registering with both the penalty scheme and naming shaming scheme to name the employer. The award must be more valued at £200 or more to be eligible for naming shaming scheme and does not extend to include ACAS conciliated settlements.
Once the name of the employer has been registered, an enforcement officer will verify the claim and issue a notice of warning to the employer. If the award remains unpaid for 28 days, a penalty notice is sent requiring a 50% payment of the award plus 8% interest accrued per annum. The penalty notice will also include the notion of naming and shaming but, allow a 14-day period to put forward representations.
If no representations are made or unsuccessful in the 14-day period, the name of the employer will automatically be added to the next round of name shaming group.