CIPD calls for changes to the tribunal system

The CIPD has called for the employment tribunal system to be given more
resources and for panel members to be given extra training to ensure they are
up to date with the law.

These are two of the changes the CIPD believes the Government needs to make
if its current review of the employment tribunal system is to be successful in
speeding up the time it takes for applications to be processed and for cases to
be heard.

Mike Emmott, CIPD adviser on employee relations, also thinks there is a need
for improved use of technology to cut paperwork and improve efficiency and
extra administration and legal support.

"Given the pressures on their resources, increased usage of the system
and volume of new legislation, tribunals do a good job," said Emmott.
"However, much more could be done to improve the efficiency and
effectiveness by making better use of resources, adopting better technology and
better training and selection of panel members as well as being more consistent
in the conduct of proceedings day."

Emmott is opposed to plans to shift responsibility for tribunals out of the
Department for Trade and Industry and into the Lord Chancellor’s department.

"This would move tribunals further away from the informal process
contemplated when they were set up, strengthening the legal aspect. We do not
believe this would lead to claimants or employers getting a better standard of
service," said Emmott.

"We think it is important to protect the relationship between
employment tribunals and Acas, which is central to achieving a greater emphasis
on alternative forms of dispute resolution."

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