The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has urged the government to reform the UK’s current tribunal system, which it claims is both inefficient and largely weighted against employers.

According to a new study from the business body, it costs an average of £8,500 for firms to defend themselves against such claims, three-fifths of which end in a settlement due to the high expense of going to tribunal.

“The current system is perverse, forcing businesses to settle spurious claims rather than fight them simply because it is more cost effective,” said BCC policy director Adam Marshall. “The reputational impact of a tribunal can be hugely damaging.”

He recommended introducing a fee for claimants to deter them from making “spurious” claims, along with speeding up the process by cutting the waiting time before initial hearings can take place.

Entrepreneurs seeking tips on how to maintain good relations with their workforce should consider participating in the Employee Engagement Summit 2011, scheduled to take place at London’s Canary Wharf in March.

Posted by Cameron Thomson