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Business leaders urge tribunals fee

Business leaders urge tribunals fee

Business leaders have called for "proportionate" fees to be introduced for tribunal claims.

The CBI said this would help to "weed out" weak claims and encourage earlier settlements. It said the current system needs to be improved as it is "failing" employers and workers.

Katja Hall, the CBI's chief policy director, said: "It's always regrettable when the relationship between employer and employee breaks down to the point where a tribunal claim is made.

"But when this happens, both sides deserve a system that is consistent, quick and keeps legal costs to a minimum. Instead, we are saddled with a tribunal system that is expensive, stressful and time-consuming for all parties.

"Surely it's in everyone's interests for cases with merit to be heard quickly and settled, while weak claims are swiftly identified and weeded out. We'd like to see more workplace disputes being resolved before they reach tribunal."

The CBI pointed out that claims had increased by 173% since 2005, and there was an "ever-increasing" backlog of cases.

Laurence O'Neill, Solicitor in IBB's Employment team, comments: "The CBI's submissions are likely to find some sympathy with the Government. It is anticipated that the future tribunal reforms will include an up front issue fee and a raft of measures designed to make the service more efficient and less costly. Whether, in practice, any measures implemented will have that effect remains to be seen.

"Tribunals already have extensive case management powers to manage weak claims, such as the power to request deposit orders and strike out claims with little or no merit, but are often reluctant to use them. The CBI's submission is just one of a number of submissions that will need to be considered by the Government when designing its package of reforms.

"Employee organisations will also have their say and the final measures will no doubt represent a package of some compromise."

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