LABOUR PARTY PLANS FOR EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNALS
The shadow business secretary, Chuka Umunna recently announced that if the Labour party succeeds at the next general election, the Labour government would overhaul the employment tribunal system and scrap the fee system introduced last year by the Conservative government.
The law over the last couple of years has swung significantly in favour of employers. As it currently stands:
- An employee must have two years continuous service in order to claim unfair dismissal at an Employment Tribunal;
- Prior to issuing a claim at an Employment Tribunal, an employee must contact ACAS for a period of Early Conciliation;
- To bring a claim at an Employment Tribunal, an employee has to pay an issue fee (up to £250) and a hearing fee (up to £950); and
- The compensatory award for unfair dismissal has been capped at 1 year’s salary or a statutory maximum of £76,574, whichever is lower.
Chuka Umunna said that the fee system makes the employment tribunal system unfair and has locked individuals out of the justice system they are entitled to. A Labour government would abolish the current employment tribunal system and put in place a new system which ensures all workers have proper access to justice.
The recent statistics published by the Employment Tribunal show that there has been a 71% drop in claims compared with the same period in 2013. The number of claims issued at tribunal has reduced by a third since the first quarter of the year.
If the Labour party are successful at the next general election the playing field will change again and employers will have to adjust their stance accordingly to avoid being caught out by any changes to the law. We will keep you informed of any further changes made to employment law.
For more information, please contact a member of the Employment Team.
The Employment Team
Gabb and Co