In the penultimate entry in our series on particular aspects of the Government's employment tribunal proposals, we look at proposed changes to deposit orders.
What are the proposals?
Employment tribunal judges would be able to order claimants at any stage to pay a deposit of up to £1,000 if they believe that weak claims are being pursued. Currently, judges can order deposits to be paid only in pre-hearing reviews and the limit is £500.
Key points of the proposals
- Deposit orders (which can be made only in pre-hearing reviews) require a party (either the claimant or the respondent) to pay a sum of up to £500 as a condition of being permitted to continue to pursue all, or any part, of their respective claim or response.
- The judge can require a deposit to be made if any contentions put forward by a party have "little reasonable prospect of success".
- The cap on deposit orders would be increased from £500 to £1,000.
- Employment judges would have the power to make deposit orders at any stage, not just at pre-hearing reviews.
- The consultation questions whether or not it would be possible to amend the test to be met before deposit orders can be made, either by changing the test itself or introducing clear criteria underneath the "little reasonable prospect of success" test.
- Equivalent powers for the EAT to levy deposit orders would be introduced.