Employment tribunal procedural rules relaxed to tackle claims backlog
Implementation date: 8 October 2020
The Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) (Early Conciliation: Exemptions and Rules of Procedure) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1003) amend the employment tribunal rules of procedure. The aim of the changes is to address delays to claims being heard because of the increase in cases following the abolition of tribunal fees in 2017 and the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The amendments include:
- allowing legal officers to carry out delegated administrative tasks currently performed by employment judges;
- providing the option for non-employment judges with employment law experience to be deployed to employment tribunals;
- widening the scope for multiple claimants to submit their claims on the same ET1 form, if their claims give rise to related issues of fact or law, or if it is otherwise reasonable for them to be submitted on a single form;
- widening the scope for multiple respondents to submit their responses on the same ET3 form, if their responses give rise to related issues of fact or law, or if it is otherwise reasonable for them to be submitted on a single form; and
- relaxing the rules on making witness statements available to the public during a hearing, which can be difficult when it is being conducted remotely.