Employment Law Birmingham News
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Tribunal reforms now in effect
Employment tribunal changes have come into effect from Friday 6th April as part of the Government's employment law reform measures.
There were 218,000 tribunal claims in 2010-11, a rise of 44% since 2008-09, with each business spending nearly £4,000 per claim on average defending itself. There is an additional average cost of a £1,900 to the taxpayer per claim.
The changes mean that from 6th April:
- The qualifying period for claiming unfair dismissal will rise 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.
The Government has also announced its intention to publish the average value of awards and time taken to reach a hearing. Included in the guidance for tribunal application and response forms, this information will provide all parties with a greater understanding about what to expect from the tribunal process before they enter the system.
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