This month's quick fire articles takes a brief look at digitisation of employment tribunals and injury to feelings awards in discrimination claims.

Digitisation of employment tribunals

An implementation plan has been published on the reform of tribunals, including the digitisation of employment tribunals, following on from a strategy report published in January.

Work has already started on introducing a new standard case management platform to replace existing case records and files. This will allow judges and panel members, as well as tribunal users, access to a digital case record. Judges will be able to manage cases online and digitally record case management decisions. Case officers who are authorised to act will also be able to perform certain functions on the digital file. From June 2019, it is expected that template orders, notices, standard letters and documents will be available to be generated through the digital platform.

During 2019, an assessment of digital evidence presentation and live video evidence requirements will be carried out, with the necessary equipment to be rolled out in all hearing centres. It is also intended that all hearings will be recorded, with recording facilities being introduced this year following a pilot that has taken place in the Cardiff employment tribunal.

Injury to feelings awards in discrimination claims

Last month, the Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in England and Wales and Scotland have jointly issued amended guidance on the ‘Vento bands’, which set the levels of injury to feelings awards in discrimination and whistleblowing claims. In making such awards, employment judges have to decide in which band the case properly falls, according to the seriousness of the discrimination suffered by the claimant. For all claims presented on or after 6 April 2019, the increased Vento bands are as follows:

  • Lower band: £900-£8,800
  • Middle band: £8,800-£26,300
  • Upper band: £26,300-£44,000.

This article is from the May 2019 issue of Employment and Immigration Law Update, our monthly newsletter for HR professionals.