Employment minister hints at plans to drop employer and union representatives from some employment tribunals

New rules for dispute resolution could see employment tribunals being held without lay members on the jury, a government minister has hinted.

Employment relations minister Pat McFadden told delegates at a TUC Congress fringe event that the government was looking into the possibility of dropping employer and employee representatives in some cases.

Currently all employment tribunal hearings involve a chairman, a member of the public with a trade union background, and one with an employer background.

Employers’ groups want the most simple and the most complex cases to take place with just an independent chairman, in order to cut costs and speed up proceedings. But trade unions believe the lay members are vital to getting the right result.

McFadden said he could not reveal the government’s policy until it formally announced its response to the consultation on the Gibbons Review.

But he added: “What I will say is that we are looking at whether we need the same procedures for everything. There are some simple cases where we might be able to do things quickly.”

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