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30 September 2005

Don't fall foul of the new employment tribunal rules
The Labour Research Department (LRD) has published a new guide for union reps and officials, entitled Employment tribunals - complying with the new procedures.

Since the tribunal rules were changed in October 2004, it has been more difficult for workers to take claims directly to employment tribunals. Claims can be barred if they do not include specific information or, in most cases, if the claimant has not raised a grievance first. And from 1 October 2005, claims must be submitted on a specific form.

There are serious concerns that the new procedures will result in workers with valid employment claims being denied access to justice - but LRD's new booklet should help to ensure that this does not happen.

Employment tribunals - complying with the new procedures sets out:

* the requirements for submitting a claim in accordance with the new procedures;
* the basic information needed to make sure that a claim is valid;
* information on what sorts of claim can be brought in a tribunal;
* a quick reference chart detailing time limits and qualifying service provisions; and
* an overview of the tribunal system, including information about the costs rules.

Unions have always considered that issues are best resolved in the workplace. But it is vital for them to be able to bring claims to tribunals when members' rights are infringed by employers who are unwilling to negotiate. Employment tribunals - complying with the new procedures provides the information unions need so that members' claims can be heard.

Written in a straightforward style and containing many examples, this fully revised version of LRD's guide to tribunal procedures contains more information than ever and is aimed specifically at union reps, officials and legal advisers.

Notes to editors

1. Employment tribunals - complying with the new procedures is published by the Labour Research Department, 78 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8HF, price ?4.00. LRD booklets are also available on subscription at an annual cost of ?33.45 (?76.95 for employers/commercial organisations). LRD publishes 10-11 booklets each year.

2. The Labour Research Department is an independent trade union and labour movement organisation founded over 90 years ago. Around 1,800 trade union organisations, including 55 national unions, representing 99% of total TUC membership, are affiliated.

3. For press enquiries on this booklet, contact Sally Buffard on 020 7902 9824. To order copies of the booklet, telephone 020 7928 3649.

4. Full information about all of LRD's services and publications is available on the LRD website at www.lrd.org.uk.

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