Dates announced for changes to employment tribunal rules
The dates for a number of changes to employment tribunal rules have been announced which include reducing the qualification period for employment judges from 7 years to 5 years, allowing non-employment judges to sit in employment tribunals and allowing for the direct enforcement of tribunal awards.
Employment Judges will no longer have to be qualified for seven years, but instead only for five years, provided they meet the qualification provisions of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, with effect from 1 December 2008 under the Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) (Amendment) Regulations 2008, SI 2008/2771.
Provisions under the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 regarding direct enforcement of tribunal orders and Acas conciliated compromise agreements, mediation, and allowing non-employment judges to sit in the employment tribunal, will come into force on 3 November 2008 or 9 April 2009, under the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (Commencement No. 6 and Transitional Provisions) Order 2008.
From 3 November 2008, under the changes inserted by new section 5D into the Employment Tribunals Act 1996, judges who are not currently employment tribunal judges, can be drafted in to sit as a judge in ET cases, but the consent of the President of Employment Tribunals will be required in order to draft in such a judge.
From 9 April 2009 there will be no need for a County Court order, before an employment tribunal order can be enforced. So once a tribunal order has been registered, it will immediately become enforceable through the County Court enforcement mechanisms without the need for any further application.