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review of employment tribunal rules

12 July 2012

Mr. Justice Underhill has published his review.

Key recommendations are an early stage “preliminary hearing” (combined case management discussion and pre-hearing review); judges having an early paper sift with a view to strike outs; binding timetables which can limit oral evidence in hearings; removal of the £20,000 limit on costs tribunals can assess and a simpler regime for setting aside default judgments. Reviewed response and claim forms will be provided.

The rules would be supplemented by non binding “presidential guidance” on how they apply and what to expect from the tribunal process.

Further desirable changes were identified such as cost awards for lay representatives, power to award contribution between respondents for discrimination and deposit orders for pursuing a particular issue. However, these require amendments to primary legislation. The draft rules are more accessible, half the size of the old ones and early strike outs for claims with no reasonable prospects of success would be welcomed by employers. A formal consultation takes place later this year.

related opinions

Will there be a return of employment tribunal fees?

The Government is reportedly considering the reinstatement of tribunal fees in respect of employment claims.

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Redundancy: competitive interview processes

In this case, the Respondent’s appeal was unsuccessful. In the first instance, the decision that it unfairly dismissed various claimants following the closure of the school where they worked. The Claimants were unsuccessful in applying for substantially similar positions at a new school that opened at the same site. Read more here.

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Can an application to postpone a hearing be refused?

This case highlights the importance of Claimants obtaining their own medical evidence in such matters especially when it is pivotal to their claim.

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Retail ATMs and business rates: clarity at last!

Judgement has been handed down for the seminal case of Cardtronics UK Ltd and others (Respondents) v Sykes and others (Valuation Officers) (Appellants) [2020] UKSC 21.

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