Would you like to be a Tribunal wing member?
If a claim issued in the Employment Tribunal proceeds all the way to a final hearing, it might be heard either by an Employment Judge sitting alone or by a panel.
If a panel hears the case, the panel will consist of an Employment Judge who is legally qualified; and two non-legal members. These members are sometimes referred to as wing members. One will be from an employee background, such as a trade union representative. The other will be from an employer background, such as an HR specialist. The aim is to provide a balance of perspectives and to ensure that Tribunal judgments take account of workplace realities.
The Employment Tribunals are currently recruiting non-legal members. This is the first recruitment exercise since 2009. There are 340 places available in England & Wales and Scotland.
Non-legal members do not need any experience of Employment Tribunal advocacy, but they do need to have experience of dealing with employment relations issues. Applicants will need to be available for a minimum of 30 days a year and will be required to sit on hearings that typically last from two to five consecutive working days, although hearings can last for several weeks. Members are paid a daily fee for sitting in hearings and for training (£187.30 as at 1 April 2018).
A recruitment pack, containing information about the eligibility requirements and selection process, has been published for those interested in applying. The Presidents of Employment Tribunals in England & Wales and in Scotland state that “this may be the opportunity “to give something back” that you have been looking for.”
Applications close on 14 June 2019 and it is anticipated that appointments will take place around December 2019.
The last quarterly Employment Tribunal statistics published in March 2019 show that single Employment Tribunal Claims increased by 23% during the period October to December 2018 compared with the same period in the previous year. Since Employment Tribunal fees were abolished in 2017, claims have been steadily increasing.
In 2018 the Judicial Appointments Commission announced that it was looking to recruit 59 salaried Employment Judges. Prior to that, according to the President of the Employment Tribunals in England & Wales, no fee-paid or salaried Employment Judges had been recruited for more than five years. This lack of recruitment was perhaps largely due to the dramatic fall in Employment Tribunal claims after the introduction of Employment Tribunal Fees in 2013.
Given the current trend, it is perhaps more important than ever that employers are up to date with their employment law obligations. We can provide bespoke Employment Law training in your workplace. For more information, please contact us.
30 May 2019
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