14 March 2013

Finally...the Government publishes their response to the Underhill review on Employment Tribunals

The Government has today published their response to Mr Justice Underhill's review of the rules of procedures for Employment Tribunals.

The new rules will be issued shortly and it is intended that these will incorporate the new rules on fees and the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill (ERR) Bill measures on cost and increased flexibility of deposit orders. These are all expected to come into force in Summer 2013.

The proposals the government have accepted include:

  • new strike out powers to ensure that weak cases that should not proceed to full hearing are halted at the earliest possible opportunity and wider flexibility on deposit orders;
  • guidance from the Employment Tribunal Presidents to help ensure that judges deal with hearings in a consistent manner which ensures parties know what to expect;
  • making it easier for withdrawn claims to be dismissed;
  • a new procedure for preliminary hearings that combines separate pre-hearing reviews and case management discussions; and
  • allowing paid lay representatives to claim costs - albeit at same rate as for preparation time orders.
  • To read the response, click here.

The Government has also published a policy document setting out their progress on employment law reform. The document outlines the key achievements to date and also sets out (on page 18) a timetable for ongoing reforms. To review the policy document, click here.

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