Employment law - the employment relationship - Essay Example

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Employment Law 1. (a.) Employment tribunal is and its role in resolving workplace disputes. Workplace disputes can be brought initially before the County Court, High Court or the Employment Tribunal depending on the nature of the dispute. Thus, claims for breach of contract, wrongful dismissal and injunction applications can be tried in the Courts and claims for unfair dismissal, discrimination, equal pay, deduction from wages, maternity rights in the Employment Tribunal…
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Download file to see previous pages 25,000. The Tribunal cannot also try cases involving personal injury, breach of agreement to provide accommodation by the employer to the employee, breach of agreement in respect of intellectual property, breach of agreement of confidentiality or breach of agreement in restraint of trade which can only be heard by courts (Nairns, 2008). The statutory limit of claim of ? 25,000 cannot be circumvented by making a claim for damages for wrongful dismissal for the maximum amount before the tribunal and making another claim for balance of damages in the High Court by splitting the same cause of action into two as held in Fraser v HLMAD (2006). Employment tribunal is machinery for dispute resolution. Employment tribunal can be approached by parties after the expiry of conciliation period. Rule 22 of the Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulation 2004 bars a tribunal from hearing any case other than cases of discrimination, equal pay and whistle blowing until the expiry of the prescribed conciliation period of 13 weeks or 7 weeks from the date of claim made to the respondent depending upon the nature disputes. For disputes of technical nature such as deduction from wages, time off work, breach of contract, redundancy payments and paid annual leave, a lesser period of seven days conciliation applies. The standard conciliation period can be extended by two weeks if there are prospects of settlement as may be considered by ACAS whose duty is to promote the improvement of industrial relations. The judicial dispute resolution starts with employment tribunals which were originally created by Industrial Training Act 1964 and given common law jurisdiction to adjudicate claims for breach of contract by termination of employment. Thus, these tribunals which began as industrial tribunals have transformed into ‘employment tribunals’ in 1998. The power to settle employment disputes is conferred by section 3 of The Employment Tribunals Act 1996 in replacement of section 131 of the Employment Protection (Consolidation Act) 1978 The tribunals are preferred dispute resolution as they are designed to facilitate speedy resolution of industrial disputes which are often heavy with facts with their potential advantages of ‘ease of access, informality and inexpensiveness’. The employment tribunals having simplified pre-trial procedure with simplified pleadings, are vested with wide powers to adjudicate in ‘a common sense way’ as part of ‘good industrial practice’. However, the law they have to apply is so complex that they are often commented on the legality of the proceedings and decisions. The common sense access to quick justice though a laudable claim is not always compatible with the hard law that has to be followed in most of the cases. The quick and informal justice that an Employment tribunal can provide is in view of the undesirability of appeals that would complicate the matter further. An Employment Tribunal can only decide on the question of facts. Any appeal from its decision can only be made on a question of law. This rule is rigorously applied in that an appeal will be decided on law and remanded back to the tribunal to decide on the que ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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