The new employment tribunal’s rules of procedure are due to come into force on 29 July 2013. The new rules, published as Schedule 1 of the Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules and Procedure) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/1237) are intended to be concise and easier to understand than the current rules.
Key changes to the rules include:
- A sift stage for claims made to the employment tribunal. After the ET3 and Response has been accepted by the tribunal, the claim and the response will be reviewed by an employment judge to identify any cases which are appropriate to strike out, in full or in part, for having no reasonable prospect of success.
- Case management discussions and Pre-hearing Reviews combined into one preliminary hearing at which administrative, procedural and substantive preliminary issues can be dealt with.
- Simplifying the withdrawal of a claim from the employment tribunal to no longer require the two step process being complied with. Going forward the claimant will not need to formally apply for a claim to be dismissed after it has been withdrawn.
- A removal of the £20,000 cap on the costs the tribunal can order.
Worth noting is some of the changes in the new rules reflect the requirement for fees to be paid to lodge a claim at the tribunal. New rule 11 allows a tribunal to reject an ET1 if it is not accompanied by an issue fee or a remission application. Furthermore, rule 40 states that, where a party has not paid any fee which is payable in respect of a claim, employer’s contract claim, application or judicial mediation in an employment tribunal, or presented a remission application, the tribunal will send the party a notice specifying a date for payment or presentation of a remission application. If, by that date, the party has not paid the fee or presented a remission application, the claim or application will be dismissed without further order, or the judicial mediation will not take place.