During 2018 and 2019, the Law Commission has been consulting about a number of reforms to the Employment Tribunal. The Law Commission has now considered the responses they have received, and have now published their recommendations for reform, some of which include the following:
- The time limit for bringing a claim in the Employment Tribunal to be increased to 6 months for all claims, a move which mirrors recent calls for a similar time limit in discrimination and harassment cases.
- The ability for the Employment Tribunal to extend a time limit if it is just and equitable to do so, thereby potentially making deadlines a bit more relaxed.
- Increasing the existing limit for contractual disputes in the Employment Tribunal from £25,000 to £100,000, thereby placing contractual claims on a par with similar disputes in the County/High Court.
- For the Employment Tribunal to be able to hear breach of contract claims by workers as well as by employees, a move which would increase the Employment Tribunal’s remit to workers, not just employees.
- The creation of a specialist list of Judges to deal with employment and discrimination claims in the High Court, i.e. the next step when appealing a decision from the Employment Appeal Tribunal.
It is hoped these reforms could bring real benefits to the court and tribunal system, as well as its users including individuals and businesses. As such, they could enable a more effective means to resolve employment disputes. However it is unlikely these recommendations will be implemented anytime soon, especially as the Government has more important matters to address. Nevertheless it is an area to keep a close eye on in the next 6-12 months as we wait for the Government’s formal response.
Please contact us if you require any advice on any of the employment and HR issues referred to above. Please contact Sally Morris on 01905 610410 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss any frequently asked questions.