Finance and Accountancy Briefing
The Government has announced plans for a major shake-up of the Employment Tribunal system.
What are the changes?
The key proposals being set out in a consultation are:
- Increasing the qualifying period for employees to be able to bring a claim for unfair dismissal from one to two years
- Requiring all claims to be first lodged with Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) to allow pre-claim conciliation to be offered. This also includes introducing settlement offers to encourage parties to make reasonable offers of settlement to avoid Tribunal hearings and encouraging parties to consider other forms of early dispute resolution such as mediation
- Speeding up Tribunals by extending the jurisdictions where judges would sit alone to include unfair dismissal, introducing the use of legal officers to deal with certain case management functions and taking witness statements as read. The Government says this will allow cases to be listed and heard more quickly, saving time and cost
- Tackling weak and vexatious claims by providing the Employment Tribunals with a range of more flexible case management powers so that weaker cases can be dealt with in a way that does not mean disproportionate costs for employers
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