Michael Gibbons to conduct a government review of dispute resolution systems

The government has announced a root-and-branch review of systems for resolving disputes in the workplace.

Trade and industry secretary Alistair Darling has asked Michael Gibbons to review the options for simplifying and improving all aspects of employment dispute resolution, to make the system work better for employers and employees.

Gibbons is a member of the DTI’s Ministerial Challenge Panel and the Better Regulation Commission.

The review will involve business representatives, unions and other interested parties in considering the options for change.

Gibbons will build on evidence which the Department of Trade and Industry has gathered over recent months about the effect of previous changes to the dispute resolution procedures.

His review will look at all aspects of the system, including the current legal requirements, how employment tribunals work, and the scope for new initiatives to help resolve disputes at an earlier stage.

He will make recommendations for change to the government in Spring 2007.

Gibbons will also chair a new panel which will advise on other aspects of the wider employment law simplification review which the DTI is currently carrying out, and make suggestions about other areas for simplification. The other members of the panel will be announced shortly.

Darling said: “By reducing the number of disputes, and resolving those that do happen more quickly, we can raise the UK’s productivity and ensure better employer relations. We can also cut the cost of dealing with disputes, which can be substantial.”

How can we make the system better? See our head-to-head discussion in December’s issue of Employers’ Law magazine


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