After much anticipation, some new Employment Tribunal rules came into force on 6th April 2014 which will affect both employees and employers. Here’s a summary….
The main change for employees is that they must now first notify Acas (the conciliation service) if they want to bring a case of unfair dismissal or discrimination against their employers. Only after consulting with Acas, to try to resolve the dispute, will the matter go before a full tribunal. According to the government, this change should help resolve workplace disputes, avoiding the stress, time delays and excessive cost of a tribunal.
Employers are now also required to consult Acas before proceeding to a full tribunal. Additionally, employers can now face additional fines if they lose a case at a tribunal. If an employer loses a case brought by an employee (or former employee) and it is shown that they had especially poor workplace practices, it could now be fined up to £5,000 in addition to any back pay that is due to the employee.
In my view, this is yet another attempt to reduce the number of claims that make it to a tribunal hearings and to cut costs.
To read more about the new rules, please click here.
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