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Government's response to consultation
The Government published its response to the consultation on ‘Resolving workplace disputes’.
by Panos Papakostis | 28th Nov 2011On the 23rd of November, the Government published its response to the consultation on ‘Resolving workplace disputes’. The government has declared it will continue to work with the mediation industry to embed mediation in the resolution of workplace disputes and is now even more convinced about the role that mediation can play, as one of the forms of early dispute resolution.
As stated inside the Government Response to Consultation (November 2011):
“Our vision is for an employment dispute resolution system that promotes the use of early dispute resolution as a means of dealing with workplace problems. The consultation “Resolving Workplace Disputes” set out our ideas, which focused on the need to tackle problems early, before they got to the tribunal stage.”
The Resolving Workplace Disputes consultation (January 2011) was a significant step in taking forward the Government’s review of employment law and the following measures are now being considered:
The Government is planning to explore whether and how big organisations might be able to share their mediation expertise with smaller businesses in their supply chain, and will pilot the creation of regional mediation networks through the provision of mediation training to a number of representatives from local SMEs.
The Department for Business Skills and Innovation commented:
‘’Mediation will prove to be a major and dramatic shift in the culture of employment relations.’’
For a copy of the 'Government Response to Consultation (November 2011)', please click here
The Government agreed to :
- bring forward an amendment to clarify s.147 of the Equality Act, to provide reassurance to parties that compromise agreements can safely be used;
- consider how we can develop a standard text for compromise agreements:
- consult on amending section 203(3)(b) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 to enable compromise agreements to cover existing and future claims without requiring long lists of causes of action;
- consult on introducing a system of “protected conversations”;
- amend the title of “compromise agreements” to “settlement agreements”.
The Government intends to introduce the requirement for all potential tribunal claims to be lodged with Acas in the first instance.
The Government has asked Mr Justice Underhill, outgoing President of the Employment Appeal Tribunal, to lead a fundamental review of the Employment Tribunal Rules of Procedure. At the same time, changes will be made to the Rules as set out in relation to:
- cost and deposit orders
- witness statements
- witness expenses
- Judges sitting alone in unfair dismissal cases at the earliest opportunity
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