Does an employment tribunal have the power to strike out a weak claim or response?

Yes, a tribunal has the power to strike out a claim or response at any stage of the proceedings if a case has no reasonable prospects of success. The tribunal must give the relevant party a reasonable opportunity to make representations, either in writing or at a hearing, before striking out the case.

When a claim form and response are received at the tribunal, an employment judge will consider the documents and decide whether or not there are arguable complaints and defences within the jurisdiction of the tribunal. If, at this initial consideration stage, the judge considers that the claim or response has no reasonable prospect of success, he or she can give notice to the parties that the claim or response will be dismissed on a certain date unless the relevant party presents written representations to the tribunal explaining why it should not be dismissed.

If no such representations are submitted, the claim will be struck out. If written representations are submitted, the judge will consider them and either allow the case to proceed, or hold a hearing to decide whether or not to allow it to proceed.