There is an interesting article in today’s Telegraph in relation to the Employer’s Charter and the general state of employment law.
The Employer’s Charter proposes (as previously blogged and commented on) extending the qualifying period for unfair dismissal to two years, a fee for lodging tribunal claims and also a proposal (which to date has received less attention) that all claims be lodged with ACAS for one month prior to reaching the Tribunal. This, apparently, is designed to prevent vexatious claims from clogging up the system.
Uhmm … whether this would work or not would very much depend on what happens to the claims when they sit with ACAS for a month. For claims to be filtered out and Claimant’s persuaded to withdraw or Respondent’s to settle at such an early stage would require much input from ACAS. Is the role of ACAS intended to be more than acting as a ‘holding bay’ and if so, is more capital and resources going to be ploughed into the conciliation service to enable them to cope with the huge increase to their role?
Any ACAS officers out there who would comment on this proposal?