The way in which employment claims are processed is likely to be the subject of some upheaval in the coming years. An interim report on the Civil Courts Structure Review written by Lord Justice Briggs includes proposals for an Online Court aimed at litigants in person for claims up to £25,000, and questions whether employment cases should be brought within the court structure. (Members of our team are involved in the Employment Lawyers Association working groups responding to these proposals, so please do get in contact if you have particular concerns or views you would like to share.) There is also the possibility of fixed costs being introduced for all court claims worth up to £250,000, as recommended by Jackson LJ in a recent speech at the IPA Annual Lecture. Our litigation blog discusses the Briggs report here.
In contrast, the Scottish government is consulting until 24 March 2016 on proposals to bring the Scottish employment tribunals within the framework of the First-tier tribunal in Scotland, and not the courts, post devolution. As drafted, the proposal would appear to allow claimants to "forum shop" where their employment or employer has some connection to Scotland – likely to be attractive given the Scottish Parliament's stated intention to abolish employment tribunal fees.