Employment Tribunal

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A step into the unknown – waiving future claims by settlement agreements (UK)

You would think that in the twenty-plus years since they were first introduced as an alternative to the Acas COT3, all that could be said about the law relating to settlement agreements would have been said.  However, along now comes the Scottish Employment Appeal Tribunal in Bathgate –v- Technip UK Limited and Others with a … Continue Reading

In the market for worker status advice? – new Guidance fails to deliver (UK)

The thing about one-stop shops is that if they do not stock what you want, they become next best thing to useless.  Anyway, welcome to the government’s new Guidance on Employment Status, expressly billed in the accompanying press release as meeting all your worker status needs in one handy document. … Continue Reading

Crikey, it’s the rozzers – police involvement in your workplace investigation (UK)

Oops.  Just found an unanswered question left over from our investigations webinar and blog series earlier in the year.  Apologies if it was yours.  The question revolves around employer and investigator interactions with the Police where the subject matter of your workplace investigation is potentially criminal conduct, and is maybe best answered as a series … Continue Reading

Looking into workplace investigations, Part 14 – closing submissions

Since most workplace investigations involve something contested, most investigation reports will disappoint one party or the other.  Indeed, since very few workplace disputes are exclusively the responsibility of one party alone, it is entirely possible if you put your mind to it that at one level or another your report will be a disappointment to … Continue Reading

“All the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order” – previewing your investigatory record-keeping requirements (UK)

Nearly 700 sign-ups for our workplace investigations webinar earlier this month gives a clear indication that this once relatively unfashionable area of HR law and practice is very much dish of the day at the moment, so from the first ten parts on this blog in December-February, now seems the time to move on to … Continue Reading

New code of practice on employers’ failure to consult – policy or politics? (UK)

An interesting development on the old employment relations front this week with the announcement of a new statutory code of practice concerning, well, that strictly remains to be seen.  Scarcely able to stand up under the weight of politically-charged invective and hyperbole, the government’s statement refers to “clamping down” on “unscrupulous employers” which fail to … Continue Reading

To lead or not to lead, that is the question – looking into workplace investigations, Part 9 (UK)

A great deal of the available guidance on conducting workplace investigations relates to the form of your questions of the parties involved, and in particular to whether they should be open, closed, or leading.  This is the difference between: “And what happened next?” – open, because the answer can go off in any direction; “Did … Continue Reading

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing for future Tribunal hearings survey (UK)

Look, it’s certainly not for me to criticise efforts being made by HM’s Courts and Tribunals Service to explore and improve how justice is best delivered during the pandemic and beyond. So the recent arrival in my inbox of a survey on the point being conducted by an independent external organisation IFF on behalf of … Continue Reading

2020’s parting gift to UK employers – you really shouldn’t have

It is easy to dismiss some EAT decisions as a storm in a teacup, legally-speaking, all very traumatic for those bobbing about in them, but of little significance to the wider world of employment law or practice. Steer – v – Stormsure Limited earlier this month is not one of those decisions. It has the … Continue Reading

Online Employment Tribunal hearings – remote possibility or part of our new normal? (UK)

Remote evidence in Tribunal hearings have traditionally been limited to circumstances where an individual’s location or health makes it very difficult for them to attend the venue. Historically the ETs have not much liked it and there is a continued perception that evidence given remotely is like that given by a written statement alone – … Continue Reading

“Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable”. Main parties’ employment manifestos reviewed

General Elections. Don’t they seem to come round more frequently than they used to? A tough call for voters, this particular one, not just because of economist JK Galbraith’s wise words above but also because the outcome won’t make the slightest difference to the biggest issue of the day, the terms on which we are … Continue Reading

Should a prospective employer search the new Employment Tribunal claims database when recruiting?

Last week (9 February) the Employment Tribunal announced that its decisions would be freely available online, allowing searches by name of employer or perhaps prospective employee. You know you want to give your candidate a quick once-over if you can (employers never being strong believers in the view that what you don’t know can’t hurt … Continue Reading

A year late but worth the wait? – Tribunal fee impact reviewed

After the gestation period of an elephant, the Government Review of the impact of the fees for Employment Tribunal cases finally emerged squalling into the daylight earlier this month. Weighing in at a healthy 100 pages and with a foreword by proud father Justice Minister Sir Oliver Heald, the Review takes a detailed look at … Continue Reading

Do you want the good news or the bad news? Welcome back to Judges’ opinions

Long-time Employment Tribunal practitioners will recall more or less fondly the days when every so often the Judge would suddenly send the parties out of the room mid-hearing and then lean towards one of the representatives and say incredulously “Come on, really?”. When it was said to the other side, that was absolutely the Overriding … Continue Reading

Consultation on Employment Tribunal reform proposals – send for Judge Dredd

Last month saw the publication of the Government consultation document on reforming the Employment Tribunal system, a joint production between the Ministry of Justice and BEIS. For when the conversation falls into a flat spin at your next dinner party, here are the highlights, using the word at its most generous. In summary, the reforms … Continue Reading

“I do not like war. It is costly and the outcome uncertain”

So said Queen Elizabeth I in a very early glimpse into English Civil Court proceedings.  Should we therefore be heartened by a possible sign of things to come in the modern employment world, thanks to Lord Justice Briggs earlier this week? Addressing the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators on 26 September, Briggs LJ told of his … Continue Reading

Missing you already – Justice Committee torpedoes no-show Government review on Employment Tribunal fees

Those few of our readers who are inexplicably not committed followers of the House of Commons Justice Committee have missed a little cracker this week with the issue of its report on Court and Tribunal fees. As everyone in the business knows, the introduction of fees in 2013 knocked the bottom out of Employment Tribunal … Continue Reading

Who drove change of disciplinary direction? – When HR’s advice goes too far

Do you ever think that your line managers are making such a hash of a grievance or disciplinary process that it would be easier to do it yourself?  Do you watch in horror as they stumble blindly but unerringly towards what is clearly the wrong decision?  Are you tempted to give them a nudge in … Continue Reading
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