IER Submission to the Call for Evidence on the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill

Outlining the IER's concerns on changes to access to justice.

The IER has responded to the call for evidence on the Department for Business’ Enterprise and Reform Bill.

In our submission, we argue that proposed changes to the conciliation service risks overloading ACAS and are too complicated, particularly for the many claimants who choose not to have representation.

We are also concerned that the proposal to replace employment judges with legal officers in some cases may cause problems, as even some apparently simple circumstances can have complexities that would require the presence or guidance of a judge.

The IER is particularly worried about the proposal to lower the amount of compensation claimants are entitled to. We say:

“We do not understand why compensation should be arbitrarily limited. Claimants do not on the whole receive vastly inflated awards from tribunals. They only receive any compensatory award if they can demonstrate they have suffered financial loss, caused by the unfairness of the dismissal, and which they have fully mitigated so far as possible.”

Meanwhile, we believe the proposed charges to be levied against employers are too low to act as a disincentive to dismissing an employee unfairly.

We also disagree with proposals to introduce ‘sunset clauses’ into legislation, as we believe reviews of the law should be left to parliament, not ministers.