Tribunal system branded ‘too complex’

The employment tribunal system is too complex, overly legalistic and too
time consuming, according to a former employment tribunal chair.

Harold Tavroges, who chaired tribunals in England for more than 20 years,
claims that officials are now hampered by layers of bureaucracy and a multitude
of legal technicalities, which are removing the scope for ‘common sense’

He said employment tribunals were now poorly regarded by employers and staff
because of the increasing legalistic approach and the growing length of cases.

"The tribunal system started off well and worked effectively," he
said. "They were there so justice could be done fairly and without a great
deal of fuss. It was a very effective system of resolving disputes between
employers and employees.

"However, I think there’s a general feeling that the common sense
approach has gone out of tribunals. The system is overly bureaucratic, with too
many technical points. I think cases will start rising again rather than going
down," he said.

Tavroges, speaking at the North East Chartered Institute of Personnel and
Development AGM, said he was worried about the increasing length of time that
cases take to resolve, but said the growing use of legal representation and
advice meant that tribunal’s were being hamstrung.

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