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Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly has announced a consultation over plans to introduce fees for employment tribunals.
Under current arrangements, employers complain that claims significantly disadvantage blameless businesses, with few incentives for complainants to choose conciliation or mediation.
Excessive claims may in turn be a barrier to employment and growth, with employers saying that they feel reluctant to recruit because of the risk that they are taken to a tribunal on a whim if things go wrong.
The consultation will put forward two options for consideration:
In both options the tribunal would be given the power to order the unsuccessful party to reimburse fees paid by the successful party.
The fee proposals, as well as reducing the cost to the taxpayer, aim to encourage both sides to consider carefully the strength of their case and whether they could resolve the matter outside the tribunal - saving time and money and reducing the emotional cost that tribunal proceedings can bring.
The consultation will close in March 2012, with a view to introduce the fees not before 2013-14.