Methods of dispute resolution: arbitration
The number of applications to employment tribunals has increased dramatically. The total number of claims made in 2003/04 was 115,042 – an increase of 16% over the previous year’s total of 98, 617. The tribunal system is overloaded. It might be more efficient to solve your legal problem using another method.
This is one of five articles on ‘Methods of dispute resolution’. You can find links to the other articles at the bottom of the page.
What is arbitration?
Arbitration involves an independent arbitrator who is impartial and the parties who are involved. The arbitrator will hear both sides of the disagreement and make a decision that will solve the problem.
You and the other person or company must both agree and voluntarily go to arbitration.
The process is confidential and so is any amount of compensation that the arbitrator awards. Sometimes the arbitrator makes their decision based on papers that each person gives them to support their case. At other times they hold a hearing where both sides can present their cases. However, this is usually less formal than a court hearing.
The result of arbitration is binding, so you can’t take your case to court after the arbitrator has made a decision, unless the arbitrator has made obvious legal mistakes or behaved improperly.
Arbitration can be used for a range of problems, such as those about goods and services.
If you have a complaint with a business, and they are a member of a trade association, ask the trade association whether they have an arbitration scheme to deal with your problem.
ACAS Arbitration Scheme
Since the Employment Act 2002 reforms, ACAS have introduced the ACAS arbitration Scheme which aims to reduce the number of claims by 30%.
ACAS run this voluntary scheme as an alternative to the employment tribunal for unfair dismissal cases.
Advantages of arbitration:
- Fast – often less than one day;
- Little opportunity to appeal;
- An enforceable award.
Please note that the information provided on this page:
- Does not provide a complete or authoritative statement of the law;
- Does not constitute legal advice by Net Lawman;
- Does not create a contractual relationship;
- Does not form part of any other advice, whether paid or free.
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