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Employers want the employment tribunal system reformed

A new survey conducted by the CIPD [1] has discovered that more than 50% of employers want to see changes in the law so that it is easier for them to sack members of staff.

69% also believe that employers are not protected against unjustifiable employment tribunal [2] claims. 60% said an employee had claimed against them for unfair dismissal and added a claim for discrimination in the hope that they would get more compensation.

The employee relations adviser at the CIPD, Mike Emmott, said that a large number of employers feel the tribunal system has broken down. There have been many attempts to find a solution in recent years but the volume of claims continues to increase.

The survey also found that plans to increase the minimum period employees work before they are allowed to claim unfair dismissal to 2 years is not likely to dramatically reduce the number of claims. Currently an employee can claim unfair dismissal after 12 months. Many of the claims that come before the tribunal are linked to discrimination [3] and that claim can be made as soon as a person starts a job.

An increasing amount of employers are making compromise agreements, whereby they pay compensation in return for the employee not taking the case to a tribunal. The BCC published research earlier this year showing that the average compensation was £5,400 whereas the average tribunal award was £8,500.

The TUC [4] has warned the government over reforming the tribunal system saying any change must make it more effective for the thousands of employees who are wronged at work to receive justice. Employer groups complain about the costs of tribunals but if they treat staff properly, employees would not need to seek redress.

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Image: Temperamental Fields of Minimalistic Compulsions [5] by DerrickT

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