CASHFLOW SOLUTIONS | When You Need to Enforce an Employment Tribunal or ACAS Award



The world of employment is changing, and this creates unwanted ripples in the smooth running of many businesses.


One of these ripples is the working relationship between employer and employee. Perhaps an employer wants to change direction, move online, reduce staff headcount, move away from the original place of business or tackle underperformance. As a result, a business working relationship may be brought to an unwanted or abrupt halt.


HR Due Process

Whatever the reason employees have rights of employment and due process must be followed in the termination of an employment situation within the UK.


Employers ignore these risks at their peril, and so the first thing we want to say to you if you are an employer is to make sure you take experienced and sensible advice on how to change an employee’s status. This will save you the cost of being in front of a Tribunal, however unfounded that may be. We recommend Practical HR at www.practicalhr.co.uk to give consistent advice as our own workforce has changed.


Ultimately an employer and employee will want to end up in a place where the employee’s rights are acknowledged and if their employment comes to an end it is done in full compliance with the protections afforded by statute.


Fighting Tribunal Claims

If an employer or employee find themselves in the midst of a bun fight on how the employment came to an end (sorry but it is never a nice environment, having enforced many of these Awards) then we can recommend law firms that will have their client’s best interests at heart when it comes to resolving the dispute. You can contact us at hub@shergroup.com and ask the question and we will respond back to you on that.


Enforcing Tribunal Claims

If you have an Employment or an Employment Appeal Tribunal Award and the respondent has not paid you can enforce it using our enforcement services as High Court Enforcement Officers operating through ACAS and the Employment Tribunal Fast Track scheme. This was first mooted to our CEO, Claire Sandbrook when she was the Chair of the High Court Enforcement Officers Association by Ministry of Justice officials who were looking for the best statistical outcomes on these types of Award.


Using the ACAS and Employment Tribunal Fast Track

The ACAS and Employment Tribunal Fast Track was originally offered through Registry Trust Limited, and this scheme still operates today. But we recommend that you come straight to Shergroup so we can look after the transfer of your Award as soon as it is made.


We will allocate Mrs Claire Sandbrook to your case as the named High Court Enforcement Officer. Claire and her team will process the Award so it can be enforced by High Court Enforcement Agents working in Claire’s name.


All you have to do is upload your Award on our website at https://www.shergroup.com/product-page/enforce-your-tribunal-award-or-acas-award and then pay the court fee of £66.00.


Our legal team will then manage the transfer of the Award for you, by applying for a Certificate of Judgment and then using that to convert the Award into a High Court Writ of Control.


This will enable Shergroup Enforcement Agents to knock on the door of the person ordered to pay the Award – be it employer or employee – and take control of goods if payment or offer is not forthcoming.


Are There Any Other Charges?

The only charge payable by you will be the court fee to issue the Writ of Control. The court will add the fee to the amount on to the Writ of Control.


If you are entitled to a fee exemption, please check the Government website at www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk.


If you cannot afford the fee, you may not have to pay it in full.


We will not charge you the normal compliance fee in the event we are unsuccessful in collecting the monies outstanding. However, if this is the case and you do not recover your award then please be aware that the court fee is not refundable.


Getting Started

Enforcement can commence as soon as the Respondent has defaulted in payment of the award. All you have to do is click on this link on our website at https://www.shergroup.com/product-page/enforce-your-tribunal-award-or-acas-award and upload your Award documentation by scanning or click it and pressing upload.


You should also pay the fee of £66.00.


“The Dog Ate My Award”

Just in case your dog ate the Award, or you can’t find it, then you’ll be pleased to know that you can apply for a certified copy of the tribunal award order, which can be used as a replacement for the original order.


This can be obtained, free of charge, by writing to The Secretary to the Tribunal's First Floor 100 Southgate Street Bury St. Edmunds IP33 2AQ


Interest in Your Award


Interest is currently payable at the rate of 8% per annum on unpaid awards. The date on which interest starts to run depends upon the type of claim you have.

  • If your award relates to a Discrimination complaint, then interest on the award starts to accrue from a date 14 days after the date on which the judgment was sent to parties.

  • If the award is unpaid then interest begins to accrue from the day after the date on which the judgment was sent.

  • Interest on other types of Employment Tribunal awards begins to accrue from a date 42 days after the date on which the judgment was sent to parties.

  • We will calculate and include any amount due to you in interest in transferring the Award from the county court to the High Court system.

Additional interest will accumulate on your Award from the date of issue of the High Court Writ at the rate of 8% on the total amount of the award and Tribunal interest.


FAQ’s

The following are some frequently asked questions in relation to the enforcement scheme for Employment Tribunal Awards |


Q: I have uploaded my Award paperwork to Shergroup and paid my fee of £66.00 - what happens now?

A: We will set up your case, and complete an application form on Form N471, to turn your Award into a High Court Writ of Control. We will serve the Respondent with a Notice of Enforcement after the Writ has been issued. This gives the Respondent 7 clear days in which to pay the amount set out on the Notice of Enforcement. If they don’t make a payment in full or make a sensible offer, then they can expect a High Court Enforcement Agent to attend their address.


Q: How can I find out how things are progressing?

A: Just message us at hub@shergroup.com and our friendly staff will update you. Ideally, you should give us 21 days from the time you give us your documentation to get the paperwork back from the County Court.


Q: When do I get my money?

A: If all goes well, 28 days or so after payment to our office. You will receive the amount of your judgment with interest at 8% and costs of £66.00, which will cover your initial court fee. If we recover nothing (because, for example, the Respondent company has gone into liquidation), you will not be charged - you will have lost your court fee of £66.00. If we recover part only of the judgment amount, we will deduct the HCEO’s fees, and these will be reduced in proportion to the amount that is recovered.


Q: How does the HCEO get paid?

A: By recovering the scale fees from successful enforcements and so it is in our interests to succeed on your behalf, otherwise we don’t get paid. High Court Enforcement Officers are regulated by the Lord Chancellor and charge their fees under a statutory fee scale which allows them to add their fees on top of the amount due to you. The amount the Respondent pays in fees will depend on how cooperative the Respondent wants to be - the longer it takes to recover your judgment, the more he will have to pay.


Q: Are you sure that this will cost me no more than £66.00?

A: Yes, if we recover nothing— that is what Claire and the rest of the High Court Enforcement Officers agreed with the Ministry of Justice when the Scheme was set up. But please remember – you will pay part of the enforcement fees if there is a recovery in part, but these fees will be reduced in direct proportion to the amount recovered.


Q: Should I speak to the Respondent if they make an offer?

A: If you start negotiating with the respondent, after instructing us and accept a compromise figure without taking HCEO fees into account, you will be liable for those fees, which will be reduced in proportion to the compromise figure, if appropriate. So, you shouldn’t deal directly with the respondent after instructing us as your High Court Enforcement provider.


Q: What happens if another person claims the goods at the Respondent’s address?

A: If there is a Third Party claim to goods taken into legal control by the High Court Enforcement Officer, you will be asked if you admit or dispute the claim. If you dispute the claim the High Court Enforcement Officer can issue an application for the Third Party claim to be decided by the court (this is known as a Third Party Claim to Goods Taken Into Legal Control application).


If this becomes necessary, we will contact you before taking this step to get your instructions on how to proceed, because you will be responsible for the High Court Enforcement Officer’s costs if the Third Party claim is successful. Make sure that you understand your possible liability for costs, before disputing a claim.


Summing Up

Firstly, we hope employers and employees stay out of this arena.


We encourage employers to take independent legal advice in managing their HR obligations to their employees. That approach can save a lot of strife.


For employees, if you find yourself with an Award that needs to be enforced, then when you put that Award with Shergroup you can rest assured we will put every effort into getting you paid.

Across the whole spectrum of job descriptions, we provide Claimants with an efficient and effective enforcement service based on 20+ years of experience.


Contact us at hub@shergroup.com or any of our channels to start a confidential and no-obligation conversation about what you need.


We are here to help you when the time comes (but we hope it won’t!).

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