Law Commission calls for changes to the Employment Tribunal system
The Law Commission has claimed that the current employment tribunal system is ‘not working as well as it should’ and has issued several proposals sought to improve the way in which employment law disputes are handled – including giving tribunals the power to award damages up to £100k.
The independent body recommends that employment tribunals should have the power to give damages in breach of contract claims of up to £100,000 (the current limit is £25,000).
Another proposed change included an increase in the time limit for bringing employment claims to six months. This time limit currently stands at three months for some types of claim. In addition, they have suggested that tribunals should be able to hear complaints from employees who are working hours in excess of the maximum working time limits – which is something that some employees may experience during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Law Commission believes that increasing the powers of tribunals will improve the current operation of the employment tribunal system.
A 2019 study found that the number of tribunal claims jumped by more than 25% to 35,430 in one year, the Guardian reported. The study – which found that employment tribunal claims take an average of eight months to be heard – revealed that claims figures have been on the rise since 2017, mainly after the fees needed to launch a claim were abolished.