10 March 2011 #Employment
A survey compiled by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development heaps more criticism on the current Employment Tribunal System.
According to the survey`s findings, which were published this week, 50% of businesses who replied had been named a Respondent in one or more ET claim in the past 2 years. Surprisingly the majority of cases had ended up at a final hearing.
Employers who had been involved in ET proceedings were then asked to comment on their satisfaction with various parts of the procedure. Almost 29% were dissatisfied with the length of time it took a case to be listed for hearing, 23% were not satisfied with the efficiency of the process and the ability to keep the proceedings on the time table set out. Only 28.6% of Respondents were satisfied with the fairness of the Tribunal`s decision.
Two thirds of the businesses surveyed believe that ‘there is no effective protection for employers against wholly unjustifiable claims` and over 50% of employers stated that they believed ‘the law on unfair dismissal should be amended to make it easier for employers to dismiss`.
The report also states that 61% of businesses have experienced an employee claiming unfair dismissal and "tagging on" a discrimination claim in the hope of increasing their compensation beyond the statutory cap, while 55% have endured a claim which they regard to be malicious.
The CIPD, have called the Employment Tribunal system "broken".
The survey also asked employers about the role of ACAS in settling disputes. Opinion was divided, with pretty much equal numbers being satisfied, not satisfied and neither satisfied nor unsatisfied.
Employers are using other methods to settle claims or avoid potential claims with 70% of Respondents admitting to signing compromise agreements and over half saying that the amount of agreements entered into had increased over the past 2 years.
Reasons given for entering into compromise agreements included: to dismiss a poor performing employee or to dismiss an employee suspected of misconduct (39%); to avoid claims of unfair redundancy (26%); and to make it easier to remove senior staff without embarrassment (24%). According to the report, the average compensation payment was £10,000.
A full copy of the CIPD Report is available here.