Employers from the public and private sector have called for an overhaul of the Tribunal system after new Tribunal data released last week. The data showed that the number of claims presented to the Tribunal had increased by 40% from 132,600 in 2006-7 to 189,300 in 2007-8. This was a dramatic increase in part due to the increase in the number of Working Time claims as well as Equal pay topping the list.
Employers urged the Government to overhaul the system to prevent frivolous claims clogging up the system. Here at PJH Law we have seen some serial litigants abuse the system in bringing claims but also a great deal of genuine claims. From experience those unrepresented carry the higher risk of being frivolous, that said even some of the represented ones are hoping for chance over merit.
Ideas employers have come up with to reform the system include an independent assessment of claims before they go through the system and charging fees for submission of claims. Personally I think it is a difficult balancing act, as you need to ensure that those with merit are not put off from pursuing their claim.
The introduction of the statutory disciplinary and grievance procedure caused a tidal wave of claims and there has been much discussion about the new Code coming into force in a week or so. I think it is unlikely that we will see an increase in litigation in quite the same way as when the old rules were introduced but I think the new code will do little to reduce claims to the Tribunal.