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Employment Tribunal Review: ARC campaign progress

Employment Tribunal Review: ARC campaign progress

Justice Underhill’s Fundamental Review of Employment Tribunal Rules was published yesterday. It suggests that there should be a sifting of claims at the issue stage, to ensure that claims without merit are removed. This report to the government also includes new draft rules.

The findings are of particular interest to the Association of Recruitment Consultancies, who were instrumental in the Employment Tribunal consultations last April. ARC members and senior HR practitioners aired their concerns to dispute resolution officials at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), and the head of the Employment Tribunal Service.

Under the current system it is difficult to have a claim struck out, and in 90% of claims settled through ACAS, the employer has had to pay out. So, the ARC wanted to eliminate the & lsquo;blackmail effect’ through a pre-hearing clearing process. Justice Underhill’s recommendations for 'Preliminary Hearing' elements means that future claims will be subjected to an initial & lsquo;paper sift’. This pre-screening confirms the viability of each claim, and can also strike out the ones that lack a reasonable prospect of success.

Ben Grover, External Policy Advisor for the ARC says & lsquo;This common sense approach to pre-screening was a fundamental part of the ARC’s campaign for Employment Tribunal reform. If introduced, we hope that the measures announced might reduce the Tribunal backlog, and furthermore, minimise the & lsquo;blackmail effect’ which some employers have been subjected to in the past.’

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