Attempts to reduce the rising number of employment disputes going to
tribunal have failed hopelessly so far. The latest evidence, from employment
lawyers Peninsula, shows applications to tribunals leaping 8.5 per cent last
An Acas scheme launched last May was meant to divert thousands of cases from
tribunals but only took up eight cases in its first eight months. Compare that
to the 128,000-plus applications to employment tribunals. It seems tribunals
are just too popular, with employees hell bent on winning compensation and
revenge on their employers.
Will the latest Employment Bill’s provisions make a jot of difference? The
new Act will usher in compulsory grievance procedures, a period of conciliation
and statutory terms and conditions. Helpfully, the Act will stop staff from
trying to win cases by pointing to minor problems in an employer’s procedures.
But few are expecting the Bill to stop the rise in tribunals, especially with a
whole new raft of equality legislation reaching the statute books in the next
few years. Worse still, many believe the Government’s proposals are too complex
to work in practice.
Ultimately it seems the answer is more likely to lie with beefing up Acas’
resources. The first priority is to raise awareness among staff that its
arbitration scheme actually exists.
Firms are behind the times in talent war
A survey published this week by Personnel Today and talent search specialist
Kenexa shows that while companies are aware of the need to recruit and retain
high-potential staff, unfortunately many of them are fighting the talent war
without a clear strategy and using outdated weapons. So people are our greatest
asset, are they? You could have fooled me.