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