Tribunal systems needs more resources, says CIPD

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 speed with the law.

These were two of the changes, which the CIPD believes the
Government needs to make if its current review of the employment tribunal
system is to be successful.

Mike Emmott, CIPD advisor on employee relations, also thinks
there is a need for improved use of technology to cut paper work 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 more consistency
in the actual conduct of proceedings day.”

Emmott is opposed to Government 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 down the road away from
the informal process contemplated when tribunals were set up, strengthening the
legal aspect. We do not believe that this would lead to claimants or employers
getting a better standard of service,” said Emmott.

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

By Ben Willmott


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