Steve Byers, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has introduced new legislation to reform the operation of Employment Tribunals in two respects.
New procedures will be introduced from 18 April 2001 which reform some of the procedures of Employment Tribunals. These include: case management/measures to deter and weed out unmeritorious cases; some technical changes to operating arrangements; and new arrangements to enable Crown employees to bring cases to a Tribunal
An ACAS arbitration scheme will be introduced for unfair dismissal claims, which do not achieve a settlement and so would otherwise go to a full tribunal hearing. It is a private, more informal and speedy procedure for resolving these disputes. Parties will opt into it voluntarily, by agreement. More information will be available from ACAS who will be producing full guidance on the scheme shortly. It is expected to open in England and Wales in late May 2001, and later in the year in Scotland.