Small firms dissatisfied with employment tribunals

A
quarter of small businesses think that employment tribunals are unfair, and one
in four firms consider the system to be very unsatisfactory, according to the
Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). 

Almost
half of those surveyed said they had settled out of court to avoid using a
system that is seen to be increasingly complex and costly.

Figures
to be published later this week will show that tribunal applications rose from
105,000 in 2002 to 127,000 last year.

There
are now 26 employment acts and 80 types of complaint that individuals can bring
against their employer.

FSB
employment affairs chairman, Alan Tyrell, said: "We are extremely
concerned about the lack of confidence that small employers have in the
tribunal system.

"Tribunals
are no longer the quick and relatively straightforward method of solving
workplace disputes they once were," he added.

"The
huge volume and complexity of legislation means that most employers seek legal
advice before attending a tribunal, and so face increased costs."

By Michael Millar

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