News Updates

Reforming the ET and EAT

Wednesday 28th December 2016

As part of the reform of the wider court and tribunal system, the Government has launched consultation on how the proposals should be applied specifically in the ET and the EAT.

The consultation seeks opinions in the following main areas:

Modernising the handling of ET claims

The focus here is offering an enhanced digital service. The consultation paper acknowledges that approximately 90% of ET claims are already submitted online. However, the reforms suggest dealing with all correspondence electronically and in some cases making decisions online.

Delegation of judicial functions to caseworkers

The reforms propose that administrative decisions, such as timeliness of appeals and applications, permission to amend documents and other case management decisions, should be delegated to case workers.

Tailoring the panel to the needs of the case

Currently a number of claims, including breach of contract, redundancy pay and unfair dismissal, can be heard by an ET Judge sitting alone. However, a ministerial decision is required to amend this list. The proposals would change the decision on panel composition to a judicial function, exercised by the Senior President of the Tribunals.

The consultation does not contain any new information on the review of ET fees, only stating that the results will be published “in due course” and that there will be consultation on any proposed adjustments to the current fee structure.

Consultation closes on 20 January 2017. Full details are online:

All information in this update is intended for general guidance only and is not intended to be comprehensive, or to provide legal advice.