Changes to Employment Tribunals Suggested

employment tribunals advice

Now that the government has finished its consultation period relating to potential changes to employment tribunals, we should begin to get a better look at how the system will change in the future. Make no mistake; change is coming. It is simply a matter of how far the government will go to bring employment tribunals more in line with other kinds of tribunals.

Every HR advisor will be paying close attention over the coming weeks and months to see how all of this plays out. As employee relations consultants, we need to be prepared to help our clients navigate the employee tribunal question once changes are announced and eventually implemented.

According to various news reports, the three biggest changes we could see are as follows:

Going Digital – It looks like the government wants to digitise the claims process from start to finish. If they succeed, disaffected employees would file their claims online. Those claims would then be processed digitally as well. Going digital will ostensibly speed up the process, make it more efficient, and reduce errors. Minor cases might even be solved via online communications only.

Procedural Flexibility – A new measure of procedural flexibility may be introduced by way of specially trained workers who would be used to complete specific tasks within the processing system. By delegating work to uniquely trained caseworkers, the governor aims to make everyone involved more flexible in both their responses and the work they do.

Tailored Tribunal Panels – Lastly, the government hopes to tailor the composition of tribunal panels to better serve both the tribunals themselves and disaffected employees making claims. The new panels will affect both judges and legal practitioners.

Changes Are Long Overdue

The consensus among employee relations consultants is that the changes to the employee tribunal system are long overdue. As an HR adviser, I will not disagree with that assessment. Since the Employment Tribunals Act 1996 was first implemented, few substantive changes have occurred within the system. We need these changes to bring the system up to date with the 21st-century.

One change that is not getting a lot of attention, but should, is the idea of reversing the fees associated with employment tribunals. Fees were introduced about four years ago and have not, according to the Law Society, resulted in fewer cases being brought. Reversing the fees would once again make employment tribunals more affordable for workers who genuinely need them.

As an HR adviser, I will certainly be keeping an eye on things on behalf of my clients. Regardless of what happens with employee tribunals, I am fully committed to offering the best possible service I can. I invite you to contact me if you are in need of any kind of HR advisor. I offer support and consulting services covering nearly every aspect of HR – from employment tribunals to contract assistance to employee appraisals. Please feel free to contact me at any time. I am here to help you.


1.Mondaq –

2.Law Gazette –

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Author: Robin Rhodes