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ET costs increase to £10,000

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As leaked to this morning's Daily Telegraph(!), at midday the DTI formally announced the proposed new changes to Employment Tribunal powers.

The main changes, which are expected to come into force in early Spring 2001, are:

• an increase in the costs limit for frivolous, vexatious etc. behaviour from £500 to £10,000. Although the press release does not make this clear, presumably tribunals will retain the power to send costs to the county court to be assessed. A new power will be introduced to allow tribunals to take into account the unreasonable behaviour of representatives;

• a new power for tribunals to strike-out cases which have no real prospect of success;

• an increase in the deposit for weak cases (after a PHR) from £150 to £500;

• measures to increase tribunal case management.

Draft Regulations will be published early in the New Year.