The CBI has called for the creation of regional league tables that rate the performance of individual judges as part of proposed reforms to an employment tribunal system it believes has become “a barrier to justice”.
The suggestion by the employers’ lobby group came in response to the coalition government’s ‘Resolving Workplace Disputes’ consultation, which is attempting to revamp a system that is widely felt to no longer work efficiently.
To rectify the problem, the CBI has recommended creating league tables that show how the regions and individual judges performed against criteria such as keeping to the timetable set out for judgements and reducing unnecessary documentation.
Although the Tribunals Service currently gathers national data, no regional break-down is available, but the lobby group believes that a mechanism, which showed how the system was working across the country, would “restore credibility”.
Katja Hall, the CBI’s chief policy director, said: “The tribunals system has gradually become a barrier to justice. Even where a successful outcome is likely, firms try to avoid the heavy costs and long delays. A programme of common sense reforms is long overdue. We need to see a transparent, fairer system built around the interests of legitimate claimants and responsible firms.”
The organisation also wants to see the introduction of a “proportionate” fee per claim that would be refundable in the event of a successful outcome in an attempt to ensure that only reasonable claims are brought and to weed out weak ones.
It likewise believes that a formal system for allowing early settlement offers to be made should be put in place, which would include the creation of service to advise tribunals when a reasonable offer had been turned down.
Compromise agreements should also be encouraged to ensure that cases do not reach the tribunal system in the first place and that valid claims are heard more quickly.