Proposed future changes to the employment tribunal system

February 17, 2016

By Chelsea Davis, 17 February 2016

SME employers regularly face problems with the current employment tribunal system being too expensive to use. Figures show that the introduction of tribunal fees reduced the number of claims by approximately 75%. However, this may be about to change.

Lord Justice Briggs has just recently presented an interim report on the civil court structure which can set in motion fundamental changes in our tribunal system. Although not finalised until July 2016, the proposals can help repair the current regime. We recommend companies with employment issues should be aware of the ground-breaking change approaching.

With the world becoming more digitised in the majority of its operations the courts are starting to adapt to this method of operating. Setting aside £700 Million for this programme the courts and tribunals are going to insist on electronic communications only. It is envisaged that claims worth less than £25,000 may be dealt with through a new online court, reducing the use of tribunal buildings and courts.

Although these changes can reduce the cost barrier of the current employment tribunal system there may be implications to employers as a result of this dramatic change. The proposed online application process may encourage those who can’t afford legal representation at present to begin legal proceedings. This suggests that there may be in influx of claims that an employer may have difficulty managing.

Within the report, there is also support for the concept of a single employment court suggesting that it would be beneficial to the system if employment cases are transferred to the courts. This would mean different procedural rules in regards to employment claims and crucially, different cost rules.

It is important that both employers and companies are aware of these proposals as they will require companies to have different strategies when facing employment claims within their company. With a timescale of just four years, it is evident that employment cases are going to change dramatically.

At HR180, we aim to be a support for these changes and if you require any assistance with employment claims please give us a call on 0113 287 8150.

Leeds based HR180 is a team of superheroes in HR Outsourcing, Projects and Consultancy committed to work in partnership with organisations of all sizes to establish working policies to go above and beyond Employment Law requirements, to protect both employees and employers alike. We love to hear from you, so call us on 0113 287 8150 or hit the Rescue Me button.

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