DTI unveils plans to reform employment tribunals

New
proposals to reform employment tribunals were announced today by DTI minister
Alan Johnson.

The
proposals are designed to promote conciliation in the workplace rather than
litigation and reduce the strain on the employment tribunal system and its
users.

Key
proposals include plans to increase tribunal awards in cases where the employer
has not attempted to resolve the case through a new dispute resolution
procedure.

Employees
who win their case at tribunal without having used the grievance procedure
would also be penalised with a reduction in their award.

The
plans also include a proposal to impose a charge of about £100 on employees for
making tribunal applications, which they would get back if their claim was
successful.

Other
measures being considered include the introduction of a fixed period of
consultation to find out whether parties involved in disputes can reach a
settlement without resorting to employment tribunal.

Johnson
said, “These are progressive proposals for reform which will create a modern
dispute resolution system.

“The government is convinced that many
disagreements can be successfully resolved through better procedures in the
work place between an individual and their employer but equally a tribunal
system designed to cope with increasing case loads is essential.”

By Ben Willmott

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