New rules designed to streamline the employment tribunal process are set to come into force this summer.
Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinson announced the measures on 14 March in its response to a 2011 review of the rules of procedure for employment tribunals.
The government said its plans were designed to streamline the tribunal process and make it easier for parties to navigate through it. They include:
- new powers to ensure that weak cases that should not proceed to a full hearing are halted at the earliest opportunity
- making it easier to withdraw and dismiss claims by cutting the amount of paperwork required
- a new procedure for preliminary hearings that will combine separate pre-hearing reviews and case management discussions. This will reduce the overall number of hearings, saving time and costs for all involved.
Jo Swinson said: “We are committed to finding ways to resolve workplace disputes so they don’t end up with two sides in front of a tribunal.
“Employment tribunals are costly in terms of time, money and stress for everyone and they should always be the last resort, not the first port of call.
“Our efforts to review all areas of employment law, not just tribunals, are about making sure business can get on and grow, while employees have the necessary protections in place.”
It is expected that the new rules will come into force this summer.