DTI moves to cut vexatious tribunal claims

measures to curb frivolous and vexatious claims to employment tribunals were
due for release by the DTI yesterday.

The Trade
and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers has proposed fundamental changes to
current rules to strengthen employment tribunals (News, 21 November).

The four
changes are:

powers to strike out ill-founded claims,

increase in the costs that can be awarded against an applicant,

increase in the deposit that employees have to place for weak cases,

management of cases by tribunals.

It is
hoped this will free up resources for other tribunals. The draft amendments to
the employment tribunal rules procedure will be published in the new year and,
subject to a period of consultation and parliamentary approval, will become law
in spring 2001.

It is also
believed that an announcement on the new Acas scheme is to be made, which will
provide an alternative to tribunals. It will allow both sides to resolve
dismissal claims through voluntary confidential arbitration rather than a full

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