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The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has called on the Government to take a fresh look at the employment tribunals system. The business group believes that the system is not meeting its goal of providing an accessible, speedy, informal and inexpensive way of resolving employment disputes.

With recent Government figures revealing a relentless rise in the backlog of claims waiting to be heard despite lower volumes overall, and the average claim taking around 18 months to process, the CBI says delays caused by the system are leading to poor justice for employees with valid claims, and soaring costs for businesses.

It has produced a report, The Right Balance – Delivering effective employment tribunals, highlighting the challenges.

It believes that tribunals need to be re-focused on speedy and informal dispute resolution by tackling the root of the problem – that tribunals have become too much like courts, which was never their role.

Its proposals include strengthening the role of judges to shorten hearings by discounting irrelevant evidence, and giving the Department for Business responsibility for administering the system instead of the Ministry of Justice.

The business group would also like league tables to be published showing the performance of individual tribunal offices to make them more accountable, and for the Government to accelerate its review of non-payment of tribunal awards to ensure the system is fair and transparent.

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