Acas panel of independent experts

When an employee or a group of employees make a claim about equal value to an employment tribunal, the tribunal may ask Acas to appoint an independent expert to assist on that case.

What independent experts do

Independent experts help to resolve equal value disputes. They'll compare the 2 completely different jobs specified in the case and assess whether they're of equal value.

When they’re appointed to a case, they assess the jobs in question against factors such as skills, physical effort and decision making and produce a report stating whether the jobs are of equal value. This report is sent to the employment tribunal and all parties involved in the case.

Once the independent expert has produced their report, they may be questioned at the employment tribunal by the claimants' legal representatives if they feel that the independent expert has come to the wrong conclusion.

The employment tribunal decides whether or not to accept the independent expert's report and whether the jobs being compared are of equal value or not.

How we appoint independent experts

Our panel is made up of experts in equal value or equal pay, with experience in job assessments. They mainly work in the academic, trade union and business sectors and work independently of Acas.

An independent expert is usually appointed to a case based on their:

  • availability
  • place of work
  • suitability or experience given the size and likely length of the case

All their fees and expenses throughout the case are paid for by HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS).

Members of the panel

  • Derek Burn
  • Jon Dews
  • Rosie Docherty
  • John Forrester
  • Kay Gilbert
  • Jonathan Holt
  • Helen Kemp
  • Janet Phillips
  • Gill Spence
  • Simon Tingle
  • Stuart Walls
  • Steve Watson

Our role

We have a statutory duty to maintain a panel of independent experts.

We support the experts by:

  • sharing information about equal pay legislation, developments in case law and any relevant employment relations implications
  • arranging meetings so they can discuss issues, share their knowledge and receive briefings from, for example, senior employment judges and lawyers