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300 MORE PEOPLE NEEDED TO SIT ON EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNALS

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A nation-wide recruitment drive to appoint over 300 more lay members ...
A nation-wide recruitment drive to appoint over 300 more lay members

to sit on employment tribunals, has been launched by Ian McCartney,

minister of state at the DTI. For the first time members of the

general public can nominate themselves after the recruitment

procedure was revamped.

Mr McCartney was joined at the launch by three serving lay members of

the employment tribunals.

Welcoming the recruitment drive, Mr McCartney said:

'The new procedure for recruiting people to employment tribunals not

only ensures that members of the general public can apply, but it

also makes the system, open transparent and based on merit.

'We want a fair proportion of women, members of ethnic minorities and

disabled people to work on employment tribunals. I am also keen to

attract interest from small businesses. In this way tribunals will

genuinely reflect the workforce - employees and employers they serve.

'This is an opportunity for people to make a real contribution to

employment relations in this country, and to take on interesting, and

well paid part-time work.'

There are around 2,500 lay members in 24 centres around in England,

Scotland and Wales. They have an equal voice with a legally qualified

chairman in cases they consider - the majority of which arise from

allegations of unfair dismissal or discrimination on grounds of race,

disability or sex. In total, eighty thousand such applications were

considered in 1997-1998.

'Lay members can bring their experience of the workplace to

employment tribunals - public or private, large or small, service or

manufacturing - and their own personal common sense. They do not need

any legal qualifications and training is provided. Lay members work

at least 15 days a year, plus some training days, and receive£131

per sitting.'

Andrew Bruce, a current lay member and a professional personnel

manager said:

'As someone who is disabled, I have expert knowledge of disability

issues. I am well qualified in the field of employment relations but

it is clear that people should not be put off applying if they lack

qualifications. The personal qualities of common sense, the

confidence to participate and the ability to listen are far more

important.'

Potential candidates should ring freephone 0800 783 7197. Details

will also be available on the DTI website at

www.dti.gov.uk/ir/tribunals-appts.htm.

The closing date for applications is 25 June 1999.

Notes

1. Employment tribunals are independent judicial bodies. Each

normally includes a legally qualified chairman, and two lay members

appointed by the secretary of state for trade and industry.

2. This will be the first year of open recruitment to these posts. In

the past lay members were put forward by organisations such as the

CBI and TUC. People can now nominate themselves and will be selected

on the basis of their personal qualities - balanced judgement,

ability to command respect, and to acquire a working knowledge of

tribunals and the issues that come before them - their working

experience, and a willingness to commit at least 15 sitting days a

year.

3. Candidates should contact Freephone 0800 783 7197, visit the DTI

website at www.dti.gov.uk/ir/tribunals-appts.htm or write to kmc, 7

Old Park Lane, London W1Y 3LJ. Interviews are likely to take place in

September and appointments made by 1 October 1999.

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