Multiple-claim trend puts employers to legal test

first_imgStaff are increasingly throwing as many allegations as they can at employersto give them the best chance of winning in tribunals.Statistics released last week by conciliation service Acas show that whilethe number of cases being brought against employers is growing, the number ofclaims is growing even faster. This means applicants are increasingly making more than one allegation at atime, such as claiming sex discrimination and breach of contract on top ofunfair dismissal.Figures for the year to March 2000 show that cases brought against employershave risen by a quarter since last year to 104,000, and claims have increasedby a third to 164,525.Francis Noonan, director of operations at Acas, said the trend is a resultof staff gaining more employment rights.The figures come just three weeks after the Engineering Employers Federationreported a big increase in the number of multiple claims it is handling onbehalf of its members.Almost a third of the cases it handled in 1999 involved more than one claimor one claimant, up from a quarter in 1998 and one in five in 1997.”People are throwing as much mud at the target as possible in the hopethat some of it will stick,” said EEF legal adviser Richard Linskell. Consultant Colin England said the need to lodge complaints to tribunalswithin three months means staff are alleging as much as possible at the outset,in case some of the claims don’t stand up in the long CBI battles for system reformThe CBI wants changes made to the tribunal system to curb the rising tide ofcases being brought against employers.It wants the Government to step in to ensure that full hearings only takeplace when there is no reasonable alternative and push the Employment TribunalService to do more to discourage claims that have little chance of success.It is recommending that weak claims are vetted at pre-hearings to stop themgetting to tribunal, that people who bring hopeless cases or hinder tribunals –by not turning up, for example – are fined, and that cases are automaticallypostponed when both sides request it.It also wants to see the forthcoming alternative dispute resolution schemefrom Acas actively promoted and tribunal application forms changed so thatcomplaints are clearer at an early stage.Launching the campaign yesterday (8 May), CBI director-general Digby Jones, said,”Most cases are justified, but employers are rightly worried about thesheer volume of claims, some of which are vexatious and some of which are notbest resolved through costly litigation.”We have to show that tribunals are for administering justice, not forplaying games or having a punt for some sort of cash windfall.” Related posts:No related photos. Multiple-claim trend puts employers to legal testOn 9 May 2000 in Vexatious claims, Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img

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