From 29th July there will be a range of new rules affecting Employment Tribunal practice and procedure. These will apply not only to new cases but to current ones as well.
Amongst a whole raft of changes, some of the potentially impactful are as follows:
Cases will be ‘sifted’ by Judges and referred for action particularly where the applicant’s case appears to be weak. Judges will have the ability to write to applicants for further particulars as to why their case should be heard and not dismissed at this early stage. Failure to reply will mean that the case is struck out and a response is likely to result in a preliminary hearing (see below).
‘Pre-hearings’ will be replaced by ‘preliminary hearings’
Time limits for Employer counter claims will be reduced from six weeks to 28 days.
Cases will be dropped if applicants do not pay their fees after a certain time period however, there will be some recourse for reinstatement of cases.
More encourages of co-operation between parties will also feature as will more flexibility on extensions of time to respond to claims, dismissal of withdrawn claims, reconsideration of judgments, as well as limiting oral evidence and submissions at hearings.
Mediation will be encouraged with a view to settling cases even at the stage where a claim has already been lodged.
For further advice and guidance on how Park City can support your organisation through the Employment Tribunal minefield, do not hesitate to contact Kelly Halls on 0800 542 7550 or by email at [email protected]