Analysis of Employment Tribunals: Is It Fit for Purpose?
"Employment tribunals were established under the Industrial Training Act 1964. They were previously referred to as Industrial Tribunals, but their name was changed by s1 of the Employment Rights (Dispute Resolution) Act 1998, which took effect on 1 August 1998"(J.Nairns,2011,p.6). Now, HM Courts & Tribunals Service which is an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice, supervise employment tribunals. Employment tribunals are constituted on the basis of region. In England and Wales, there are 11 regional offices of the Employment Tribunals(ROETs). There is Regional Office in each region which copes with claims from applicants in that geographical area. "Any appeal from the Employment Tribunal would be heard in the EAT(Employment Appeal Tribunal), from there by the Court of Appeal and then the House of Lords"(J.Nairns,2011,p.6). There are 9 offices of the Employment Tribunals(OETs) which are subordinating to specific ROETs where hearings occur. Nevertheless, OETs are administered by the relevant ROET under the auspices of the regional Chairman(Dennis Hunt, 2005). The jurisdiction of employment tribunals was not completely statutory until the Employment Tribunals Extension of Jurisdiction Order 1994. "When an employee is dismissed, she may well have a claim for breach of the contract of employment as well as a claim for unfair dismissal and it seemed absurd that the two claims could not both be brought in the same court. The problem was highlighted when the Wages Act 1986 was passed and apparently provided an avenue for bringing contract claims in rocketed, indicating the need for such a mechanism"(Gwyneth Pitt, 2004, p.14). That's why employment tribunals created. The main advantages of setting up employment tribunals are as the following: 1.speed, which minimizes time-wasting for both employees and employers; 2.cost, rather than loser has to pay all the costs, both parties need to pay their own costs; 3.informality, without wearing wigs, an unintimidating atmosphere created to assist individuals to represent themselves better; 4.flexibility, strict rules of precedent are not operated in tribunals which makes it be more flexibly in responding than courts; 5.specialization, tribunal members obtain expertise in areas of related cases, they can offer professional knowledge of varied industries, in this regard, ordinary courts cannot match; 6.relief of congestion in the ordinary courts, the workload of ordinary courts will be very heavy if all the cases of tribunals are transferred; 7.awareness of policy, tribunal members' expertise illustrates members can understand the policy behind legislation in their own areas, and the wide discretionary power they possess permit them to put it into practice; 8.privacy, individuals may meet in private tribunals under some circumstances, thus their circumstances don't have to be open to public. (C.Elliott & F.Quinn, 2009)
"Employment tribunals are usually composed of three members. They are chaired by a solicitor or barrister of seven years' standing and then have two lay members, drawn from each side of industry"(Gwyneth Pitt, 2004, p.13). The employment judge must obtain at least seven years career of being qualified solicitor or barrister. The appointment of the employment judge is made by the Lord Chancellor. The role of employment judge is to make decisions and offer reasons of the decisions after case hearing. "They also preside over the hearing and if necessary can advise lay members on points of law and procedure"(J.Nairns, 2011, p.373). The lay members come from industry, their appointment is made by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. The industrial expertise of lay members can be attribution to help them work better and be more precise in the case hearing of employment tribunal. In this...
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