Mr Justice Underhill, who was asked by the Government last November to carry out a fundamental review of the Employment Tribunal rules, has recently announced his findings and recommendations.
The purpose of the review was to look at streamlining the Tribunal process, increase understanding for all parties and reduce costs.
The key points recommended in the review are highlighted below:-
- An early paper sift where an Employment Judge will review initial papers and consider directions and strike outs where a claim does not have reasonable prospects of success.
- Combining Case Management Discussions (CMDs) and Pre-Hearing Reviews (PHRs) and renaming them “Preliminary Hearings”. This will enable certain applications such as striking out all or part of a claim to be heard earlier on in the process.
- Employment Judges to have an express power to limit oral evidence and submissions in Hearings.
- Removing the £20,000 cap on the Tribunals’ power to assess costs. This will remove the need to refer higher cost claims to the County Court.
Employment Relations Minister, Norman Lamb, thanked Mr Justice Underhill for his “sensible” and “well thought of” recommendations, which he would be considering. Mr Norman Lamb said that his department would announce their intentions in this regard, “in due course”.
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Written by Edward Aston
15th July 2012