In 2010-2011 there were 218,100 claims to employment tribunals, an increase of 44% on the previous year. According to Government figures, the cost to the taxpayer increased from 77.8 million to 84 million in the same period.
On 23rd November the Government announced proposals to make significant changes to employment law and practice. This week the Government launched its consultation on its proposals this week. These are the main areas for reform.
Other proposals are plans to allow employment judges to sit alone in unfair dismissal cases; costs awards of up to 20,000 against vexatious claimants; and fines from 100 up to 5,000 for employers who breach employee’s rights where the breach has aggravating factors.
Although the proposal caused a storm in the press when it was leaked, the Government has said it is still looking at the option of allowing businesses with ten or fewer employees to make “compensated no fault dismissals”, as long as they pay compensation equivalent to a redundancy payment. No proposals have been published on this.
The consultation document sets out the following options:
In both options, the tribunal would be given the power to order the unsuccessful party to reimburse fees paid by the successful party. Fees are likely to be introduced in 2013. The consultation will close in April 2012. Whether these measures will meet with employer approval and achieve the intended objective is moot. Needless to say, debate is already raging amongst the employment lawyers (and where you get five lawyers in a room there will always be at least five different opinions on the same point). Time will tell; it always does.
Visitors of this website are free to copy and distribute this Article provided you agree with the terms and conditions of this website whereby the original author’s information and copyright must be included. The author is Kate Russell of Russell HR Consulting Ltd.
Russell HR Consulting offers HR support services to businesses nationwide, including Buckinghamshire (covering Aylesbury, High Wycombe, Milton Keynes, Bedford, Banbury, Northampton, Towcester and surrounding areas), Nottinghamshire (covering Chesterfield, Mansfield, Nottingham, Sheffield, Worksop and surrounding areas) and Hampshire (covering Aldershot, Basingstoke, Reading, Farnborough, Fareham, Portsmouth, Southampton and surrounding areas). Visitors of this website are free to copy and distribute this Article provided you agree with the terms and conditions of this website whereby the original author’s information and copyright must be included. The author is Kate Russell of Russell HR Consulting Ltd.