Further to our email update of 18 July 2012, we bring you further news of Mr Justice Underhill’s proposals to change the current Employment Tribunal Rules of Procedure.
Whilst only time will tell whether the proposals, if implemented, will have any significant effect on the tribunal procedure in practice, overall the proposals appear to make the tribunal system more user-friendly and ultimately less time-consuming for both parties to a dispute.
Significant proposed changes include:
- Mandatory early papers sift of weak cases so that these can be identified and struck out by an employment judge at an earlier stage. This is likely to be particularly welcomed by employers.
- The combination of case management discussions and pre-hearing reviews into one single hearing.
- Requiring tribunals to give reasons for all of its decisions on disputed issues.
- Enabling tribunals to set time limits for oral evidence and submissions, and to strictly enforce these time limits so that evidence does not overrun.
- Granting power to Tribunal Presidents to publish ‘good practice’ guidance to help parties know what is expected of them during the tribunal process, and to ensure a more consistent approach by employment judges in terms of how they deal with the same kinds of tribunal hearing.
The full Underhill Review can be found here.
A full consultation on all of the proposals will follow later this year.