Data file: Employment tribunbal disputes

The latest in a series of articles that give the basics on key areas of
employment legislation. This issue we look at employment tribunbal disputes

The hard facts
Employment Tribunal (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations

These new regulations come into force on 16 July 2001 and bring in a new
range of issues for employer and employee when a claim is pursued in the
tribunal. The intention behind the changes is that tribunals should actively
manage cases to a conclusion more quickly and efficiently.

The main changes include:

– A new overriding objective similar to that in use in County Court
– The introduction of case management powers
– The increase of the fee payable to continue with a claim following a pre-hearing
review from £150 to £500
– The increase in costs that may be awarded without assessment from £500 to
– A new rule to allow tribunals to direct cases are heard in private when there
is a national security issue
– The ability to lodge claims previously submitted in a number of ET1s in a
single document.

Alternative Dispute Resolution
Acas Arbitration Scheme

This new procedure was introduced in the Employment Rights (Dispute
Resolution) Act 1998. It is only applicable to unfair dismissal claims.

The main provisions are:

– Both parties must agree to arbitration
– Evidence is not given on oath
– There is no right of appeal except in respect of "serious
irregularity" in the arbitrator’s conduct, hearing of the case or about
the award made.


– Likely to be quicker than an employment tribunal
– Proceedings are held in private and
– Awards made are confidential.


This is available for most litigation disputes and may be a good option

– The claim is of high value and of a sensitive nature
– The issues are highly complex or involve international law.

Reading around the subject

– The DTI has produced a useful commentary on the main changes resulting
from the employment tribunal regulations:

– The Acas website has access to a full copy of the Arbitration Scheme
together with a guide and introduction to the provisions:

– The Centre for Dispute Resolution (CEDR) provides a useful source of
information on mediation including "myths and facts",
"appropriate cases", a news update and an online fee calculator:

In the news

"Arbitrator to handle unfair dismissals" – The Daily Telegraph, 19
February 2001

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