The Employment Lawyers Association (ELA) is calling for a full debate on the future of Employment Law Courts, following cautions raised against the creation of a Single Employment Court in coming years.
The ELA and its some 6,000 members across the UK have laid out a 42-page report weighing up the positives and negatives of the potential move, which comes amidst a backdrop of ongoing Civil Courts reform.
The majority agree that, though the idea of a single specialist court to hear out all employment disputes has its appeal, the ‘knee-jerk move’ would ‘not be a universal panacea’.
As an alternative, the ELA has proposed a new ‘three-tier system’ for dealing with employment disputes.
One suggestion is that the Employment Appeals Tribunal should be reinvented as a distinct division of the High Court, including a possible name change to ‘The Equalities and Employment Court’.
The ELA also wish to improve access to justice for all claimants.
Richard Fox, chair of the ELA’s working party, which produced the report, said: “A Single Employment Court has its attractions, but it would be wrong for there to be a knee-jerk move in that direction or just a piecemeal review.
“We need a thoughtful and considered debate to achieve a 21st-century model for dealing with employment claims effectively.
“We should embrace technology, make smarter use of the expertise of specialist Employment Judges, and simplify procedures by having a single rulebook for all cases.
“Any proposals for reform need to be considered properly by all interested parties within reasonable time limits”.