WORCESTERSHIRE employers will need to redouble their efforts to avoid workplace dispute - or face significant pay-outs.

That is the warning from Ashley Gurr, employment partner at Redditch law firm Kerwoods.

It comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to rule the Employment Tribunal fees regime unlawful.

First introduced in 2013, fees started at around £160 and increased to between £230 and £950 for further hearings. For certain claims, they could go as high as £1,200.

It all resulted in a 70 per cent-plus reduction in cases.

Now though many in the sector think some sort of fee system is likely to be re-introduced eventually, and the number of cases is set to rise once more.

Mr Gurr said: “There had been widespread complaints from business at the time, cost and unfairness surrounding tribunals. Now the courts have decided that the fee system itself was unfair - if any (firms) had allowed their guard to drop then this is the time to become extra-vigilant once more.”

Mr Gurr said prevention of workplace disputes was vital, and that meant having good systems in place, taking quality advice and keeping up with the constant changes in employment law.

“Many disputes that end up at tribunal could and should have been sorted had the right approach been taken at the outset,” he added.