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Social Insurance Tribunalshelping people appeal decisions about benefits payments

What do the Social Insurance Tribunals do?

The Social Insurance Tribunals are:

  • Social Insurance Appeals Tribunal
  • Income Support Appeals Tribunal
  • Family Allowances Appeals Tribunal

If a member of the public disagrees with a decision made about their benefit, income support or family allowance payments, there is initially an internal review within the Committee for Employment and Social Security.  Many cases are resolved at that point.

However, the person concerned may not be satisfied with the results of the internal review and may appeal to the relevant Social Insurance Tribunal. The Tribunals are independent of the Committee for Employment and Social Security.

What does a Tribunal member do?


One panel of members covers the work of all three Social Insurance Tribunals. The panel consists of a Chair, a Vice-Chair and up to seven members of the public.

When an appeal requires a full hearing, three members – the Chair or Vice-Chair and two lay members – are selected from the panel to form a Tribunal. To prepare for the hearing, Tribunal members review the appeal papers and prepare questions.

At the hearing the Tribunal hears evidence from the person making the appeal (or their advocate or other representative) and the relevant officers from the Committee for Employment and Social Security and asks questions.

After the hearing, the Tribunal discusses the findings and the relevant legislation and makes a decision as a team.  The Chair of the Tribunal writes up the decision and sends it to the other two members for any amendments. The decision is then sent to the person making the appeal and the officers.

You will be:

  • Analysing documents and examining evidence carefully and impartially
  • Listening to, and questioning, both parties in the case
  • Working as a team to make a decision
  • Reviewing a written summary of your conclusions

How do you get appointed?


From time to time, the Tribunal advertises for new panel members to replace people who have stood down. To apply, you will be asked to read some background information and submit your CV and a covering letter.

If you are shortlisted, you will be interviewed and, if successful, your name will be submitted to the Royal Court for appointment.

What skills do you need?


No specific qualifications or experience of social insurance are required for this post.

Instead, you will need to show that you are able to make balanced, reasonable and unbiased decisions, based on the evidence you have read in the appeal papers and heard at the hearing.


What support or training is there?


The Tribunal process is managed by the Clerk to the Tribunal who is a senior States officer. The Clerk helps members of the public to make an appeal and also supports the members of the tribunals to perform their roles. 

The Clerk organises meetings and hearings, prepares the paperwork and is available to offer guidance if you have questions.

You will also be supported by the Chair, the Vice-Chair and the other tribunal members.


You will receive two full days of training covering the general skills of a tribunal member and social insurance legislation. The training will take place on a weekday in Guernsey at a time convenient to the people being trained. 

What's the time commitment?

Time commitment

The Social Insurance Tribunals deal with about five appeals a year in total, of which one or two reach a full hearing. This is an average and can vary widely.

Do you get paid?


Panel members can claim an allowance of £76 per half-day.

Rewards and downsides


You will be part of a fair and transparent process which allows the Guernsey public to appeal against social insurance decisions in an accessible and straightforward way.


There aren’t many cases so you may wish to take on another tribunal role to make full use of your training.

Where can I find out more?

More information

Go to for detailed information about the Social Insurance Appeals Tribunal, plus contact details for the Clerk of the Tribunal.

Read our interview with Audrey Branch, a member of the Social Insurance Tribunals Panel.

Download this information

To turn all of this information about the Social Insurance Tribunals into a PDF, click the ‘download info as PDF’ button at the bottom of this page.


This description of the role of a member of the Social Insurance Appeals Panel has been researched by Women in Public Life volunteers.  If you spot an error, or have a question, please do let us know by emailing

Download info as PDF

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Miriam Makeba - South Africa

Nominated by: Christine James

Zenzile Miriam Makeba (1932 to 2008), nicknamed Mama Africa, was a South African singer, songwriter, actress, United Nations goodwill ambassador, and civil rights activist. Associated with musical genres including Afropop, jazz, and world music, she was an advocate against apartheid and white-minority government in South Africa. In 2020 she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 women of the century. 

South Africa is ranked 12th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 45.8% (source: 

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The original image “The Hague Jazz 2008 – Miriam Makeba” by Haags Uitburo is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. 


Jacinda Ardern - New Zealand

Nominated by: Martin Lock

Jacinda Ardern (born 1980) has served as prime minister of New Zealand and leader of the Labour Party since 2017. In 2019, she led the country through the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings, rapidly introducing strict gun laws in response, and throughout 2020 she directed the country’s widely praised response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ardern was the world’s second elected head of government to give birth in office when her daughter was born in 2018. ‘An inspiring Prime Minister who brought a nation together with true leadership, empathy and compassion.’

New Zealand is ranked 4th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 48.3% (source: 

Other iconic women: Dame Whina Cooper, nominated by Claire Fisher, and Kate Sheppard, nominated by Anna Cooper.

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