17 Jul 2012
By Kylie Barton, CEDR Communications Team
The government received a series of proposals on the 12th of July from Lord Justice Underhill in relation to the running of employment tribunals.
It is said the recommendations aim to streamline the current procedures which have come under some criticism in recent months. As well as cutting costs which is a central theme throughout all policy recommendations of late, the proposals seek to allow employment judges to be more critical in the pre-hearing stage.
Mr Justice Underhill suggests that judges should be allowed to dismiss cases which do not have a solid line of argument or clear complaint. He has said he hopes this will open up the doors for disputants to enter into alternative dispute resolution methods… good news for CEDR.
It was also advised that an enhanced guidance system could be put into place to ensure parties are fully aware at every stage of a tribunal process which can be very lengthy, complicated and pricey comparative to alternative methods such as mediation.
Currently to withdraw once the tribunal process has begun is a bureaucratic nightmare as a claimant must wait for the employer to submit an official application. The new recommendations would cease this practice.
Mr Justice Underhill has been explicit in stressing that the core value of tribunals should always remain, and that fairness is the utmost priority at all times. At CEDR fairness and neutrality are core values, and are central to all endeavours. CEDR’s employment mediation skills training for companies, help organisations go some way to avoid such tribunals, and the high economic and time costs associated with them.
This announcement comes as one of a string, as the Government continues to look into the issue of workplace disputes after conducting research after the strikes which caused such disturbance in 2011. This research led to a comprehensive review of employment law which is viewed as an integral part to the overall growth strategy. Norman Lamb, Employment Relations Minister said;
“We have already announced a host of measures trying to simplify tribunals and make sure that when workplace disputes happen, employers and employees try to find other ways to resolve their problems”.
Again, raising the profile of ADR methods as advocated by CEDR. He continued to comment how Mr Justice Underhill’s recommendations are sensible, as it ‘makes sense to start with the rules’. Mr Justice Underhill, is acknowledging the that in this context it is important and changes are seen as an on-going education as opposed to a quick fix; something CEDR certainly agrees with.
The Government have promised an official response to the recommendations in due course, which is something we at CEDR, and those who work in the field of ADR, greatly look forward to.
26 Apr 2013
May set to be busy month for CEDR
Mediator Skills Training - Fast Track – 5 June 2013
Certificate in Advanced Negotiation - Module 1/3 – 25 July 2013
Mediator Skills Training - International – 19 August 2013
Certificate in Advanced Negotiation - Module 1/3 – 12 September 2013