An employment expert has criticised the Government for delays in changing
the employment tribunal system designed to cut down on frivolous claims.
The changes have been shelved until July after an extensive review of the
Gilbert, chief executive of the Employers’ Forum on Statute and Practice,
thinks employers are being left in a state of confusion because of the
Government’s poor planning.
He said, "It could have wanted to postpone the changes until after the
planned election date to avoid alienating business.
"But I think the most likely explanation is this is another example of
the Government not getting its act together properly."
Under the revised system tribunal timewasters would have to pay costs of up
to £10,000 if their cases were found to be bogus.
Deposits required to begin tribunal proceedings will also be increased from
£150 to £500.
Tribunals will have a new power to strike out claims that "have no real
chance of success".
Andrew Leggatt QC is reviewing all tribunals in the UK legal system, from
family courts to employment tribunals, and is expected to announce his findings
in the summer.
Gilbert added, "We now have the new Acas scheme in place but we don’t
have these changes to accompany it to cut down on the number of tribunal
A spokesman for the DTI said the regulations had been delayed because
tribunal users need more time to understand the changes.