Tribunal applications fall by 24% under statutory procedures

It seems the Statutory Disputes Resolution Procedure last October has had an effect, with tribunals reporting a 24% drop in applications from disgruntled staff.

New figures show that there were 97,896 claims in 2004, compared to 127,594 claims throughout 2003.

The Statutory Disputes Resolution Procedure aims to make employers and staff resolve their problems before they reach the tribunal stage by making both parties go through a series of internal steps.

At the time, business leaders claimed this would make it more difficult and costly for employers, while unions said it would discourage staff from bringing legitimate claims.

However Mike Huss, senior employment law specialist at the Peninsula law firm, warned businesses not to let down their guard as the chance of them being taken to employment tribunal has not changed. 

“When you see the large awards that are made [in unfair dismissal claims] and you become aware of the ‘no win, no fee’ organisations trying to assist people to make claims and then combine this with an increase in employee rights then I believe that the number of employment tribunal applications made against employers will certainly rise over forthcoming years,” he said.

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