This spring the management committee of the Employment Lawyers Association (ELA) decided to conduct a survey of its 5,500 members across England, Wales and Scotland to gain a clear understanding of their experience as representatives in employment tribunals. The exercise involved canvassing opinion on suggestions for reform, with the aim of improving efficiency and saving time and cost for all users of the employment tribunals (including the employees and employers our members represent). Our survey struck a nerve with our members. Some 20% responded, which, when taking into account individual responses and those who responded on behalf of their firms, was a significant proportion for such a survey. Most respondents were solicitors in private practice (81%). The ELA survey results coincided with the Tribunals Service announcing in July that, from April 2009 to March 2010, there was a staggering 56% rise in the number of claims being accepted by employment tribunals. The ELA survey revealed substantial dissatisfaction with the current performance of the employment tribunal system – hardly surprising perhaps, given the huge rise in the number of claims issued against the backcloth of recession. Some 31% of ELA members indicated that they were dissatisfied and 4% very dissatisfied with the service the employment tribunals provide. Only 33% indicated they were ‘satisfied’, in contrast to the 71% quoted in the recent Annual Statistics for Tribunals as a whole for 2009-10. And 56% of ELA members had experienced a decline in service, with the majority pointing to inadequate resourcing as the main cause. One key theme to emerge was concern about the lack of consistency around the country, with 83% indicating members believed employment tribunals do not adopt a consistent approach to practice and procedure. Some 75% indicated they believed employment judges were not being consistent in their judicial approach to handling cases. A very high proportion (over 93%) believed users would benefit from greater consistency. A number of suggestions were made to achieve greater consistency including the introduction of standard directions. Several problem areas in practice were raised, including: short notice postponements of substantive hearings; delays in listing procedural hearings; and cases going ‘part heard’ because of lack of judicial time. Only half were satisfied with the employment tribunals’ approach to costs applications and 68% said something needs to be done to deal more effectively with vexatious litigants. Several procedural reform proposals attracted widespread support, such as improved case tracking, more correspondence by email, use of standard agendas for case management discussions and holding discussions by telephone. A large proportion (79%) wanted large-scale equal pay claims to be handled by a single employment tribunal office. Many respondents also favoured judges sitting alone on cases such as unfair dismissals, to ease pressure on the system. ELA members were also surveyed on more radical suggestions taken from practices of other courts in the UK and around the world, including listing main hearings from Monday to Thursday, and reserving Fridays for procedural hearings, which attracted 60% support. In contrast, only 26% either strongly or fully supported ‘out of hours’ hearings with 32% completely opposed to the idea. One factor which increases the length of hearings is the reading out by witnesses of all or part of their witness statements. Somewhat surprisingly, only 27% of survey respondents fully supported taking witness statements as read, with 42% being strongly opposed to imposing a time limit on a witness for reading all or part of their statement. ELA hopes the large number of positive suggestions made for reform will be considered fully by those with the unenviable task of running employment tribunals in these difficult times. Joanne Owers is chair of the Employment Lawyers Association and chair of the ELA Working Party on Employment Tribunals
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To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Get your free guest access SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe now for unlimited access Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community
The flights will be twice-weekly to start on Wednesdays and Sundays.Depending on demand, these flights will be undertaken by Turkish Cargo A310 Freighter, which offers a capacity of 36 tonnes or by the A330-200 Freighter which offers a capacity of 65 tonnes.Turkish Cargo says it is one of the first airlines to launch freighter flights to Libya following the downfall of the Gaddafi Regime.The company also carries cargo using bellyhold capacity on its daily passenger flights from Istanbul to Benghazi.www.turkishcargo.com.tr
THE MANAGEMENT board of Spanish National Railways approved an agreement with Siemens on November 30 that provides for the company to assemble rail vehicles in the railway’s workshops at Valladolid and M
CHINA: Siemens Mobility is to supply traction and control technology from its Desiro regional multiple-unit platform to rolling stock manufacturer CSR Nanjing Puzhen under a €450m long-term co-operation agreement announced on January 21.An initial suborder covers equipment for 32 six-car 25 kV inter-city electric multiple-units which Guangdong Southeast Intercity Transport Co ordered from CSR Puzhen in December. These will be used on the growing Pearl River Delta rail network around Guangzhou, where Siemens says 2 000 km of new track is to be built by 2020. Siemens will supply components in 2011-12 for 22 six-car EMUs with a top speed of 140 km/h and 10 six-car units with a top speed of 200 km/h. The traction equipment will be based on that used in the Desiro ML family, of which 332 trainsets have been sold in Germany and Belgium. The bogies will be manufactured under licence in China. The value of the initial contract is not being disclosed.
Scomi Group has appointed Mastura Mansor as Country President, Indonesia.
You may think you don’t know Niko Moon but you’ve most certainly heard his music.As a songwriter Niko has written five number one hits for Zac Brown Band – Loving You Easy, Homegrown, Beautiful Drug, Keep Me In Mind and Heavy is the Head. He also co-wrote Back to Life for Rascal Flatts alongside Dan + Shay’s Shay Mooney, Fred Wilhelm and Cary Barlowe.<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>Niko is also part of electronic dance group Sir Rosevelt with Zac Brown Band frontman Zac Brown and Ben Simonetti. In 2019 Niko signed a record deal with Sony Music Nashville/RCA Nashville and he recently released his debut EP Good Time.Featuring 5 tracks, the EP includes the first official single Good Time and arrives ahead of Niko’s Grand Ole Opry debut, which is scheduled for 14th April. Niko is currently on the road with Ryan Hurd on the Platonic Tour and he’ll be heading over to the UK in March for C2C: Country to Country.Fans can see Niko at the CMA Songwriters Series on 12th March and he’ll be performing through the C2C weekend, including a performance on the Spotlight Stage on 14th March. He’ll then fly off to Australia, New Zealand and Japan for more international performances.C2C: Country to Country takes place at The O2 in London from Friday 13th to Sunday 15th March 2020. For more information and tickets visit https://c2c-countrytocountry.com.
George Crosbie AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInMissing walkers – Durisdeer Jeffrey StewartPolice Scotland report that a large scale search is continuing in the hills around Durisdeer in Dumfriesshire for three missing walkers who failed to return from a walk on Tuesday 16 February 2016. The three, 64 year old Bobby Thomson, 73 year old George Crosbie( Main Photo) and 74 year old Jeffrey Stewart are all from Dumfries and were reported missing by relatives around 1730 hours on Tuesday. The three men indicated that they would be home around 1530 hours that day. Search teams including the Moffat, Galloway, Tweed Valley and Police Scotland Mountain Rescue Teams along with SARDA dogs and a helicopter from HM Coastguard are continuing to search the area. The search was started on Tuesday evening and continued throughout the night.Bobby ThomsonInspector Gordon McKnight, Search Coordinator for Police Scotland said “the weather through Tuesday evening and into Wednesday morning was very poor however it is now improving which allows for the use of air support to assist the teams on the ground. We ask anyone who may have seen the three men to get in touch with us through the 101 number.”
online image online imageUganda will finally replaced its old and broken cancer machine with a new radiotherapy machine after receiving the new on this week, reports the Monitor.The new machine which will start operations ‘soon’ will replace the old cobalt 60 radiotherapy machine, which broke down beyond repair on March 27, 2016 after serving the nation for more than 20 years, donated to Uganda by the Chinese authorities in 1995.With country having only one cancer machine nearly 2,000 patients in the East African nation were left without proper treatment. Some 400 of the cancer patients were forced to travel to Nairobi, Kenya for better management of the illness according to the Daily Monitor.“The machine is in a warehouse somewhere in Kampala, a container containing its parts will be delivered to UCI on Wednesday and installation is expected to last at least one month,” Dr Orem said.Dr Orem also disclosed that the radioactive source, which is a sensitive component of the machine, has already arrived at Entebbe International Airport. The machine itself was shipped from Czech Republic through Mombasa port with guidance of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a United Nations body that regulates use of nuclear and atomic energy.The machine is said to have been purchased at 642,000 euros (more than Shs2.7b) by both government of Uganda and IAEA.Procurement of the machine took long due to policy divergence and other factors like changes in the political and technical leadership at the Ministry of Health according to Dr. Orem.