Research into The Role of Lay/Non-Legal Members in Employment Rights Cases
A one-year research project into The Role of Lay/Non-Legal Members in Employment Rights Cases conducted by Dr Paul Latreille, Reader in Economics at Swansea University and Susan Corby, Professor of Employment Relations at the University of Greenwich, got underway this month.
The £99,075 (FEC) project, which is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), will investigate whether and how lay members add – and are perceived to add – value in employment rights cases.
Many, but not all, employment rights cases are decided by a three person tribunal: a judge and two lay members.
The research will examine the circumstances in which lay members sit on cases and their contribution, including whether there are minority decisions, success rates, and differential appeal rates (judge alone/full tribunal); as well as the views of the Employment Judges and the lay members themselves, plus other stakeholders such as representatives of the parties and key civil servants.
Information on the role of lay members in other UK tribunals and labour courts abroad will also be gathered, so that comparisons can be drawn.
The methodology will involve searching the judgments of Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal, together with interviews with tribunal user organisations, representatives and key civil servants, and questionnaires to Employment Judges and lay members.
The project’s findings will have significant public policy implications for what is now a key employment relations institution.
Dr Paul Latreille (pictured)
who is based in Swansea University’s School of Business and Economics, said: “I am delighted to be collaborating with Professor Corby at the University of Greenwich on this exciting project. We have both published extensively in the area of workplace conflict and employment tribunals, independently until now.
“This research will make use of our complementary skill sets to significantly extend the evidence base on employment tribunals. From a policy perspective the research is especially timely given pressures on the system from the record numbers of claims last year – some 236,000 – and at a time of financial exigency.”