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Employment Tribunal Judgments Now Available Online

Back in July 2016, we brought you the news that it was the Government’s intention to publish Employment Tribunal judgments online.  It took a little while longer than anticipated, but it has now happened.

Judgments can be found at https://www.gov.uk/employment-tribunal-decisions.  The Tribunal began uploading some decisions from 2016 onto the site but it appears all new judgments are now being uploaded. Anyone can access the site and search for cases by name, either of the employee or employer, or by type of claim.  Here, we take a look at what this could mean for employees and employers.

Employees:

  • If you’ve taken your former employer to the Tribunal and a judgment was reached, details of your claim will now appear on the site.  This will include the type of claim you have pursued and may refer to compensation awarded.
  • You may find that your former employer has found themselves before a Tribunal previously and the details of the judgment may be helpful in your case.
  • Be wary of relying too heavily on previous judgments, cases are very fact sensitive and are not binding on future decisions.  Judgments should not be seen as a substitute for legal advice.
  • Judgments often contain detailed findings of fact by the Tribunal.  If your claim was unsuccessful, this may include references to the fact the Tribunal did not find your evidence to be credible.
  • Potential employers may choose to search the database before offering you a job.  Some employers may be put off by the fact you have pursued a claim against a former employer, even if your claim was successful and without reading the details of the case.

Employers:

  • If you’ve lost a claim brought by a former employee, the judgment may contain very specific details about what happened.  This may include criticisms of your procedures or management practices.
  • It is likely that, if you lose a claim, your staff will quickly become aware of the details by accessing the judgment.
  • Compensation you have had to pay may also be included in the judgment and available for all to see.  
  • You will be able to search the database to see if a potential new recruit has taken their former employer to a Tribunal.  Be wary of treating a candidate less favourably as a result of a previous claim as you could open yourself up to a claim of victimisation.
  • We expect the press will take a keen interest in the site.  Where the outcome was not favourable for you, bad publicity could follow either in a local or national newspaper.

There is certainly a lot to consider with the new site.  We suspect it may encourage more claims to settle as claims which do settle before a judgment is reached will not appear on the website.  

Here at SCE Solicitors, we are experts in Employment Tribunal litigation.  If you would like to discuss a claim you wish to pursue, or defending a claim which has been brought against you, please contact me on 01133 50 40 30 or at hello@scesolicitors.co.uk.

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SCE Solicitors is a boutique employment law and dispute resolution practice based in Leeds which advises clients nationwide.  Please note that the information in this blog is to provide information of general interest in a summary manner and should not be construed as individual legal advice. Readers should consult with SCE Solicitors or other professional counsel before acting on the information contained here.

Jennifer Hoult

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