The government has published legislation which aims to simplify the much-maligned statutory dispute resolution procedures, but details of a proposed new system have yet to emerge.
Conciliation service Acas will revise its statutory code of practice on discipline and grievance procedures, and tribunals will be able to adjust awards where parties have unreasonably failed to follow the code.
Business groups have warned the government must think radically to cut red tape in the employment tribunal system.
Employment relations minister Pat McFadden said: “Our proposed changes to dispute resolution, responding to the Gibbons ReviewILS , would ease burdens for businesses and employees by abolishing rigid, statutory processes for dispute resolution, while also ensuring there is no discrimination in employees’ rights.”
The Bill would also mean tougher penalties for rogue employers, and would boost the powers of employment agency inspectors.
Unlimited fines would be introduced for businesses not paying workers the minimum wage, and agencies which try to exploit workers and undercut legitimate businesses.