Ongoing Tribunal reforms and Law Society consultation


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HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has published a progress report on its on-going reform programme, which includes information about forthcoming changes to employment tribunals.

A new employment tribunals service will be developed, which will be more responsive to users' needs and which will include the ability to resolve cases online and by video. HMCTS expects to start work on this project in 2020 and conclude it by mid-2021.

HMCTS is also planning to deliver a digital case management system for the civil jurisdictions of the High Court and Court of Appeal, Upper Tribunal, the EAT, Regional Business and Property Courts and District Registries. This will enable claims to be issued and responded to and cases managed by the court digitally.

In the meantime the Law Commission has issued a consultation paper on reforming employment law hearing structures. It seeks views on the following issues (amongst others):

  • Extending limitation periods in employment tribunals, mostly to six months;
  • raising or removing the £25,000 limit for breach of contract claims, and allowing tribunals to hear breach of contract claims while the employee remains employed;
  • whether tribunals should have power to allow multiple respondents to seek contributions from each other;
  • giving the EAT jurisdiction to hear appeals from the Central Arbitration Committee on issues of union recognition;
  • allowing employment judges to sit in the civil courts when hearing civil court discrimination claims, or creating an "employment and equalities" list of specialist judges.

The consultation closed on 11 January 2019.

This article is taken from HR Law - November 2018.

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