Acas plans quick-fix system for job grievances

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The Independent Online
Britain's government-funded industrial peacemakers are planning a fast-track route to resolving grievances as the number of individual employment rights cases reached a new record.

The conciliation service Acas has been asked by the Government to work out the practicalities of a quick-fix system for sorting out individual cases. Ministers are keen to cut a swathe through the long queue of cases for industrial tribunal hearings, where a waiting period of six weeks is common. The plan for an alternative system for sorting out grievances emerged as the Acas annual report showed that employment rights cases had exceeded 100,000 for the first time. The figure has increased for the ninth successive year since 1987 when it was 40,817.

Officials at Acas envisage a new system in which hearings would last around half a day - unlike the weeks at tribunals - and that there would be a result within a fortnight. If a case goes into the industrial tribunal labyrinth, it can take years to emerge.