Search Legislation

Employment Act 2002

Removing procedural traps in unfair dismissal cases

182.Some employers have lost faith in the Tribunal system because they believe they will lose an unfair dismissal case because of a small procedural mistake, even if following the correct procedure would have made no difference to the outcome. The new policy is that, in cases where it can be shown that the mistake would not have made a difference to whether a dismissal was fair or unfair, the Tribunal will have the opportunity of disregarding the procedural error. This will only apply for procedures that go over and above the 3-step procedures that will now be part of the contract of employment.

183.This change should discourage some Tribunal applications based mainly on procedural error. The benefits to employers are £6-11 million per year. Of these about £4-6 million are transfers from employees due to changes in the structure of tribunal outcomes. The benefits to the taxpayer are about £1 million.

184.The costs of the proposal are also related to the shift in outcomes. Individuals have reduced awards and settlement payments of about £4-6 million. Respondents lose £1-4 million. There are costs to the taxpayer of £2-5 million.

Back to top


Print Options


Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources