The new employment tribunal rules of procedure have now been published and are due to come into force on 29 July 2013. They arise from the fundamental review of employment tribunals, carried out by Lord Justice Underhill last year.
Key points in the new Rules include:
- Sift Change. After the ET3 has been accepted, the claim and response will be reviewed by an employment judge to identify any weak cases which can be struck out, in full or in part, for having no reasonable prospects of success.
- Preliminary Hearings. Case management discussions and pre-hearing reviews will be combined into one preliminary hearing at which administrative procedural and substantive preliminary issues can be dealt with.
- Withdrawal. The new rules simplify the current two-step procedure, removing the need for the respondent to formally apply for a claim to be dismissed after it has been withdrawn.
- Costs. The £20,000 cap on the costs the tribunal can order will be removed.
Some changes to the draft rules have been made to reflect the government’s subsequent decision to introduce fees in the employment tribunals at the same time as the new rules take effect. These include:
- New Rule 11, which allows the tribunal to reject an ET1 if it is not accompanied by an issue fee or a remission application.
- New rule 40, which allows the tribunal to make an ‘unless order’ providing that a claim or employer’s contract claim will be struck out, or an application dismissed, if the relevant fee is not paid, or remission application received, by a specified deadline.
For more information on this please contact us on 01483 303636.