0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

employment tribunal changes ahead

23 September 2020

It perhaps won’t come as any surprise to users of employment tribunals that there is currently a backlog – with the number of cases being dealt with rising by 26% since March, and expected to continue to rise with the end of the current Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme next month.

In an attempt to address this, the rules which govern employment tribunal proceedings are being amended with effect from 8 October, including allowing non-employment judges to hear certain claims and allowing “legal officers” to make certain determinations which are currently reserved to employment judges. Other changes are also being introduced to widen the circumstances where multiple claimants/respondents can use the same claim form or response form; to allow claim forms to be accepted despite errors in the conciliation details; to remove the need to publish online judgments dealing with dismissals on withdrawal; and to facilitate remote hearings.

The ACAS conciliation process is also to be simplified to change the default conciliation period from one month to 6 weeks (without extensions). These amendments will be introduced slightly later, in December.

There is clearly concern as to both current and future capacity within the employment tribunals and the amendments proposed are intended to simplify certain aspects of the system and redistribute some of the workload currently falling on employment judges. How quickly they will take effect – and in particular when non-employment judges or legal officers will be available – remains to be seen. With press reports of a backlog of 45,000 cases with the employment tribunal system, parties may still face considerable delays in the near future.

related opinions

Immigration rules post Brexit

Free movement between the UK and the EU ended on 31 December 2020. Since 1 January 2021, a new points-based immigration system applies to all migrants wanting to come to the UK, whether they are EU citizens or not.

View blog

“Please release me, let me go” Government to consult on removal of non-compete clauses

The Government has announced a consultation exercise into the possible removal of non-compete clauses in employment contracts which will run until 26 February 2021.

View blog

Changes to the Job Support Scheme

The government has now announced further changes to the Job Support Scheme (now renamed the Job Support Scheme Open), with both the percentage of working hours and the employer contribution to unworked hours dropping.

View blog

The Restriction of Public Sector Exit Payments Regulations 2020

On 14 October 2020, The Restriction of Public Sector Exit Payments Regulations 2020 (the “Regulations”) were made into law and will come into force on 4 November 2020.

View blog

Sarah Hooton

Sarah Hooton

Professional Development Lawyer

View profile

mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up