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New Employment Tribunal Rules of Procedure from July 2013

On 29 July 2013 the new Employment Tribunal Rules of Procedure come into force. This will be a busy day for the Employment Tribunals as fees are being introduced on the same day

On 29 July 2013 the new Employment Tribunal Rules of Procedure come into force.  This will be a busy day for the Employment Tribunals as fees are being introduced on the same day

The rules are being implemented following a review of the Employment Tribunals carried out by Mr Justice Underhill, the former President of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT).

Once in force, the new rules will apply to all new and existing claims, (with some limited exceptions).

Some of the key changes are:-

  • The introduction of an initial paper sift of all new claims received.  Carried out by an Employment Judge, the sift will involve checking that there is an arguable claim and defence in an effort to weed out weak cases and prevent them proceeding;
  • The removal of separate Case Management Discussions and Pre-Hearing Reviews which will all now be known as Preliminary Hearings;
  • Changes to the costs rules including allowing Employment Judges to carry out assessments of costs in excess of the current cap of £20,000;
  • Formal confirmation that witness statements will be taken as read by Tribunals at the start of a hearing (a practice which has been in place for some time);
  • Clarification as to when a deposit order can be made, and giving Judges greater flexibility in the use of these;
  • Changes to the way default judgments are issued and dealt with including giving Respondents the ability to apply for an extension of time outside the 28 day period to lodge a Response form (ET3).

One of the key aims of these rules is to set them out in plain English, so that they can be understood by unrepresented parties which is reflected in the drafting. 

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