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Employment tribunal changes come into effect

Government changes to streamline employment tribunals to cut unnecessary demands on employers and encourage growth, while safeguarding workers’ rights have come into effect from 6th April. The changes include:

 

  • An increase in the qualifying period for claiming unfair dismissal from one to two years.
  • Judges will be able to sit alone in unfair dismissal cases.
  • Witness statements can be provided in writing as opposed to the current rules where a witness reads their own statement out aloud.
  • The maximum level for costs awarded to businesses winning a vexatious tribunal claim will rise from £10,000 to £20,000. Deposit orders required by claimants when a judge determines that a part of claim is unmerited will increase from £500 to £1,000.


Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

“For too long now the system in place for employment tribunals has been a bloated and bureaucratic obstacle for employers and the taxpayer. For employers they were finding that weak and vexatious cases were too much of the norm, too easy to bring forward, while for the taxpayer they were proving ever more expensive to run.

“We have seen claims drop in the last year and we want to see this continue as we introduce alternative measures in the coming months helping both parties resolve workplace disputes.”

 

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