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
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
Andrew Bruce, a current lay member and a professional personnel
'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
Potential candidates should ring freephone 0800 783 7197. Details
will also be available on the DTI website at
The closing date for applications is 25 June 1999.
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
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.