by Laurie Anstis on June 18, 2011
PLC Employment pointed out on 16 June 2011 the introduction of a private member’s bill, the Tribunals (Maximum Compensation Awards) Bill by Christopher Chope MP seeking to limit tribunal awards for unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal or discrimination claims to £50,000.
The bill was considered in Parliament on 17 June 2011. The text of the debate can be found here. During the course of the debate, Damian Green, the minister for immigration, confirmed that:
the Government will be launching a public consultation on this specific matter later in the year
This confirms the government’s previous announcement on 11 May 2011 that compensation for discrimination claims will the subject of a review. The government was not proposing any review of unfair dismissal or wrongful dismissal awards, which were also dealt with in this bill, and it does not seem that this intervention by the minister was supposed to expand the scope of the proposed review.
At the time, Mrs Markleham pointed out the legal objections to any cap. These were mentioned in the commons debate, but without any solution being proposed. The draft bill sought to get around this by excluding the operation of the European Communities Act 1972, a radical step which raises many constitutional issues.
While private members bills rarely, if ever, make it to the statute book, it will be interesting to see what room the government feels that it has for making changes, in an area of law where European Union legislation is highly significant.