HR Hartley

Dispute resolution rules provide new balance

As you will know (and, if you don’t then you’re in trouble), new dispute
resolution procedures kick in shortly. In fact, by the time you pick this
magazine up from its prominent position beneath the coffee table, they’ll
probably have been in force for a good while.

Right up to the October kick-off, commentators have been getting in their tuppence-worth on how delightful or disgraceful the whole
idea is. It probably won’t be either – allow me to don my science teacher
mortar board and explain.

Take these headlines: "Sacking employees could become virtually
impossible under new dismissal rules that take effect next month, say legal
experts", "Unions fear sacked employees will be put off bringing
claims for unfair dismissal because of new grievance procedures".

In short, the new procedures can’t be bad for everybody. We’re back to the
age-old question of what happens when an unstoppable force hits an immoveable
object. Either things will simmer on as they always have or one of the oldest
and most contested scientific questions will be solved through the medium of
unfair dismissal tribunal cases.

Next you’ll be telling me maternity and paternity cases have something to do
with the Big Bang.

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