Employment law is under scrutiny again this week whereby the tribunals system looks to be streamlined and easy to understand.
The main reasons behind the forthcoming changes are aimed at efficiency and reducing the amount of weak claims.
Jo Swinson, employment relations minister, headed the Government announcement saying she is “committed” to finding ways of “resolving workplace disputes”, so they don’t end up with two sides in front of a tribunal.
Following the November 2011 Employment Appeal Tribunal which reviewed current processes the new “Employment law 2013: progress on reform” highlighted this issue among others, and its impact on changes to legislation, set to be enforced in May. The Government are also very keen to reduce the stress, as well as time and money, so providing more information at the outset about the procedures which should help to limit the numbers and make those more aware that this is a last resort and to avoid if at all possible.
Some of the points raised were:
New strike out powers to ensure that weak cases that should not proceed to full hearing are halted as early as possible
Employment Tribunal Presidents to provide guidance to help judges deal with hearings and allows all parties know what to expect.
A crackdown on excessive paperwork, ultimately making it easier to withdraw and dismiss claims
A new procedure for preliminary hearings that combines separate pre-hearing reviews and case management discussions. It claims this will reduce the overall number of hearings and lead to a quicker disposal of cases saving time and costs for all parties.