The LCCSA welcomes the announcement today from HMCTS that the pilot projects for “flexible operating hours” (FOH) have been dropped, at least so far as criminal courts are concerned.
The proposals were originally announced in March 2017, and included proposals both for early starts and late finishes in certain courts, to include (in the proposed pilot) Highbury Corner and Blackfriars. The LCCSA opposed the proposals (see here )
Today it was confirmed that “Early and late sittings will be piloted in civil and family courts” ONLY. Detail HERE
It is good that the Ministry of Justice acknowledged the concerns that were raised, and hopefully this indicates the start of constructive dialogue generally on justice issues.
We welcome the news that on this occasion, and on this issue, our concerns have been noted and acted on. Should these plans re-emerge we would oppose them. They would inevitably extend the working week of our members without any suggestion of increased remuneration for unsociable working hours. More courts should not be closed simply to justify cramming more hearings into those that remain open.
HMCTS Press release: www.gov.uk/government/news/courts-to-pilot-more-flexible-hours-for-the-benefit-of-the-public