New measures have been introduced that will improve the payment of employment tribunal awards and cut the cost of enforcing unpaid ones.

Minister Jack Straw revealed High Court Enforcement Officers will take over responsibility of recovering money after research by the Ministry of Justice found 39 per cent of people granted awards have not been paid.

The justice secretary said: "I am determined to ensure that employees awarded settlements following a dispute get their dues paid."

Government research shows the larger the award, the less likely the payment – with 44 per cent of the 377 claimants awarded more than £5,000 not receiving any money, compared to 26 per cent of the 93 who were awarded less than £500.

Mr Straw said this is why these new measures have been introduced as they will "remind those not willing to pay of the consequences of their actions".

According to government statistics the number of claims accepted by employment tribunals has risen from 86,181 in 2004-05 to 132,577 in 2006-07