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08:49 on Wednesday
7 March 2001

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Tribunal proposals announced


Recently Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers announced some welcome news for employers who have been faced with time-wasting Tribunal claims that have been brought simply to cause them problems.

The announcement introduced a whole range of measures aimed at deterring employees or ex-employees bringing cases which have little or no chance of success.

In outline, the measures are:

An increase in the amount of costs a Tribunal can award for unreasonable or vexatious behaviour from £500 to £10,000. In addition, the costs awarded will be able to take into account the behaviour of the claimant’s representative.

A new power for Tribunals to strike out ill-founded claims that have no real chance of success.

Raising the deposit on pursuing weak claims from £150 to £500

A strengthening of the management of cases by Tribunals.

There is no doubt that this is welcome news not only for employers, but also employees. From the employees’ side, it will free up the Tribunal system so that legitimate cases should not be delayed. Employers on the other hand should no longer be faced with weak claims they are forced to defend, resulting in a loss of time and money.

At the same time as introducing these measures, ACAS will be implementing a new arbitration scheme that will provide an alternative to employment tribunals for unfair dismissal cases.

The proposed implementation date of the new Regulations is Spring 2001

November 2000

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