The government has published its response to the consultation on reforming the Employment Tribunal system this week.
It has confirmed plans to proceed with the digitisation of the claims process, delegating routine judge’s tasks to caseworkers and tailoring the composition of tribunal panels in accordance with each case’s specific needs.
The independent Tribunal Procedure Committee will assume responsibility for Employment Tribunal and Appeal Tribunal rules of procedure. The Committee itself will be expanded to include an employment judge and a legal practitioner with specific experience of the system’s current operations.
Claimants will be able to digitally start a claim, track progress, provide evidence and information and participate in ‘innovative resolution methods’. Thus in turn bringing down costs and potentially meaning in some cases the tribunal may not need to hold a physical hearing to determine the outcome.
The rules may authorise the Senior President of Tribunals to designate what routine judge’s tasks can be delegated to caseworkers. The government intends that tribunal caseworkers will be legally ‘trained or qualified’ and that all decisions made under delegated authority would be taken under judicial supervision for quality control.
The Senior President will also have the responsibility for determining panel composition in the Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal.