Time to put an end to the compensation cultureOn 6 Aug 2002 in Vexatious claims, Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article How do we solve the employment tribunal conundrum? There is no dispute that there should be an accessible and responsiveemployment tribunal system that allows aggrieved staff to bring employers totask. But we also need to be rid of the damaging hoards of ‘gold diggers’ whosee the tribunal system as an easy way to fund a new kitchen. The CBI estimates that employment tribunals currently cost business £663mper year. And with Acas predicting that tribunal applications are set to riseagain, at least in the short-term, with a raft of new employment law about tocome on stream, it is time for the Government to act. Its main weapon in trying to combat spiralling tribunal applications hasbeen the Employment Bill, due to become law in the coming year. These measuresinclude the expansion of internal grievance and disciplinary procedures, andthe introduction of a fixed-period conciliation process. But many believe more needs to be done, and few agree with the Government’soptimistic predictions that these measures will cut applications by 30 percent. The Employment Tribunal Taskforce’s call for the Government to put morefocus on dispute prevention is a start. But while mediation will help, it willnot tame the compensation culture. Despite laws being introduced last year allowing tribunal chairmen to chargea deposit for weak claims to be taken forward and award costs against vexatiousclaimants, anecdotal evidence suggests these powers are little used. Until theyare compensation-seeking staff will continue having a punt at the employers’expense. And whatever happened to the proposal of charging tribunal applicants £100or so for lodging a complaint, as proposed in the Routes to Resolutionconsultation paper? Everyone (except of course the unions) agreed this was away forward. While the Government needs to take its lead from the taskforce andstrengthen the role of mediation in dispute resolution, it must have thecourage to tackle the compensation culture head on. The Employment TribunalSystem needs further reform.