As from 18 December 2018, employers who do not pay employment tribunal awards within a reasonable time (ie the time required) shall be named publicly along with details of the unpaid award. The list will be published approximately quarterly in a press release on Gov.uk. The scheme is structured similarly to the existing ‘naming and shaming’ scheme for National Minimum Wage underpayment.
Claimants may register awards that are made on or after the 18 December 2018, worth £200 or more, with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The claimant must register with both the penalty scheme (as above) and the naming scheme. If an award remains unpaid, employers will receive a naming notification letter and will then have 14 days to make written representations to the BEIS to explain whether they fall under any of the prescribed exceptional circumstances for not being named under the scheme. The potential exceptional circumstances are:
- Naming would risk personal harm to an individual, their family or other employees
- National security risks are associated with naming
- Naming would not be in the public interest – the employer must provide details
- Proof is submitted and verified demonstrating the award has been paid in full
In each of these circumstances, evidence must be provided to support the employer’s case for not being named. If the representation is accepted by the BEIS, the employer will be notified and will not be named under the scheme.
Representations should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, or alternatively by post to:
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
ET Naming Scheme Team
Spur 2, 1st Floor
1 Victoria Street
If a representation is not received within the 14 days, employer’s will be named automatically in the next round. Employers will be notified of the impending press release. The scheme does not currently extend to Acas conciliated settlements.
(Remember that financial penalties are also in place for unpaid awards, payable to the Secretary of State. The maximum possible penalty is currently 50% of the unpaid award, capped at a maximum of £5,000. This is separate to a tribunal’s power to increase an award by up to 50% where there are ‘aggravating features’).