The government has announced a new system aimed at helping businesses and HR departments to resolve workplace disputes without resorting to a full tribunal.

Employment relations minister, Pat McFadden, announced the amended system on Friday (April 3rd).

Mr McFadden said that the aim of the new process was to avoid tribunals, which he said could be "costly, time-consuming and draining for people and businesses alike".

He explained: "We have changed the rules so that employers and employees will have greater flexibility to deal with grievances and disciplinary issues at work at the earliest opportunity.

"Acas’ expanded helpline and conciliation services will play a key role in delivering this".

The helpline has been established to provide both employees and employers with "impartial and confidential advice", the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform’s (BERR) website reported.

Katja Hall, employment policy director at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said that the CBI welcomed the changes and was "pleased that the new regulations place substance rather than procedure back at the heart of resolving workplace disputes".