According to research by law firm, Pinsent Masons only 3 per cent of firms are satisfied with the current system, while a staggering 97 per cent of companies think the system is weighted in favour of workers,
The general consensus from respondents was that the current dispute system hinders effective management of personnel, lasts too long and is inconsistent,
Tribunals should have more powers to weed out weak claims, the majority of respondents said, according to the report.
“Eighty-one per cent of respondents reported having received a claim which they perceived as a ‘try-on’, with 78 per cent regularly receiving such claims,” the survey report said. “Even allowing for the possibility that employers only see their side of the argument, this is still worryingly high.”
Most companies are in favour of a new measure being introduced to force disputing companies and employees to talk through issues before employees can make a claim, the survey said. Sixty-two per cent of respondents would like ACAS, the conciliation service, to be given the power to make recommendations following the pre-claim discussions, the report said.
Jon Fisher, employment law expert at Pinsent Masons, commented on the report;
“Increasingly we find that claimants are unrepresented and have unrealistic expectations of how much their claim is worth, fuelled by tabloid headlines about large awards to employees in the City,”
“Guidance from ACAS that an offer is reasonable should help claims settle early and at the right level – particularly if there are costs consequences for claimants if they ignore the recommendation,” Fisher said.
Proposals to charge a fee to bring a claim against an employer received 29 per cent of support from respondents. Other deterrents, such as Tribunals being stricter in not hearing cases that are not meritorious and being more willing to award costs against those bringing claims, were preferred by other respondents.