2 Mar 2010

Employment advocates may face greater controls

1:05 pm on 2 March 2010

The Government's review of personal grievance laws could lead to greater regulation of employment advocates.

Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson released a discussion document on Tuesday and is asking for feedback on how the current processes work.

The discussion document says concerns have been raised about the variable standards and level of professionalism of advocates operating under no-win no-fee schemes, with some believing it has increased the number of personal grievance claims.

Ms Wilkinson says she particularly wants to look at eliminating frivolous employment cases along with the no-win no-fee arrangement.

She says many personal grievance claims are a waste of time, money, and resources, and wants to have a fair and robust system that offers certainty for employers and employees.

The discussion document lists a range of suggestions, including requiring employment advocates to be a part of a formally recognised professional organisation, which would have professional standards and the ability to impose penalties on incompetent advocates.

The document also looks at a range of possibilities for making the processes cheaper.

Submissions can be made until the end of March.