Jo Swinson – 2013 Comments on Employment Tribunals

The comments made by Jo Swinson, the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs, on 17 January 2013.

We are committed to finding ways to support both businesses and employees when a working relationship breaks down. The measures I have announced today will do just that.

Central to this is promoting the benefits of good communication, better management, and early dispute resolution, as this can lead to the best outcomes for everyone. We are working closely with Acas to get the rules and procedures for Early Conciliation right, and welcome the views of interested parties in our consultation.

Settlement agreements can be a helpful tool and work in the interest of both employer and employee. Creating a code and simple guidance will mean that these arrangements are more readily available to those in small businesses, not just large corporations.

Employment Tribunals are costly for everyone, in terms of money but also time and stress. We need to tackle unrealistic expectations about the levels of compensation awards, especially when only 1 in 350 people who make a claim for unfair dismissal receive an award of more than their own salary, and the average award is less than £5,000. Tribunals should be the last resort not the first port of call.