Employment Tribunals Service

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 7th January 2013.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department is taking to prevent employers making trivial justifications for any potential breach of employment rights in employment tribunals.

Photo of Jo Swinson Jo Swinson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

While the Department is not able to prevent parties at an employment tribunal from making trivial justifications there are measures it is taking as part of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill to improve the ability of the tribunal to take actions against parties that make claims or responses that have little or no reasonable prospect of success.

Current legislation allows tribunals to make a deposit order as a condition of pursuing a whole claim or response. The Government is taking forward the Underhill review of employment tribunal rules recommendation that tribunals should be able to apply a deposit award to individual parts of a claim or response. This is one of a wider package of measures which will help improve case management and deter both parties from pursuing weak elements of a claim or response. It will provide both parties with a clear sense of where they should focus their efforts and encourage a more realistic approach to settlement.

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