The Employment Lawyers Association (ELA) published its response to the government's consultation on reforming the employment tribunal system.
In its response, the ELA criticised the government's plans to introduce compulsory online employment tribunals. According to the ELA, such reforms would not be suitable for the majority of claims, other than straightforward wages, holiday pay or statutory redundancy claims. It points out that many claims, due to the personal and sensitive nature of the employment relationship, require a careful and nuanced approach which may not be possible if direct evidence is not heard. In addition, the ELA raised concerns about the accessibility of the scheme, given that 5% of the adult population does not have access to the internet, while those with disabilities and language barriers may also be disadvantaged. The ELA has suggested that a non-compulsory online system could achieve savings without excluding potential users.