The Senior President of Tribunals has published his Annual Report for 2014, which includes commentary about the EAT and the employment tribunals in England and Wales. In the EAT, the report comments that the long-term effect of the introduction of fees is difficult to predict at the moment, but since April 2013, the number of appeals has reduced by 33%. In addition, there is a view that appeals are likely to become increasingly complex and litigants appearing in person will be more numerous. In employment tribunals, the general view is that it has been a difficult year due to the implementation of the new tribunal rules and fees regime, but that the new rules are providing greater flexibility, simpler language, and more judicial discretion. Other key points are: (i) full hearings have become more lengthy and complex than in previous years; (ii) judicial mediation has proved popular, with a success rate of more than 70%; and (iii) the role of non-legal members may need to be reviewed in light of the fact that there are fewer cases on which non-legal members are required to sit. The ET President for England and Wales indicates a “difficult and evolving future for employment tribunals”.
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