The Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) (Amendment) Regulations 2008 have been laid before Parliament. They make the following amendments to the 2004 procedural rules:-
- consequential amendments resulting from the Employment Act 2008, which repeals the existing statutory workplace dispute resolution procedures and makes changes to conciliation by Acas
- removing Employment Judges’ discretion not to issue a default judgment in certain circumstances;
- providing that, where electronic communications are used in public hearings, and oral evidence is given, the public must be able to see and hear all parties to the communication, and where the hearing is to be held in private and oral evidence is given the tribunal or Employment Judge must be able to see and hear all parties to the communication;
- clarifying provisions on the withdrawal and dismissal of proceedings, and a new rule providing for the automatic dismissal of proceedings, where the parties to an Acas settlement have confirmed in writing their understanding that the proceedings covered by the settlement will be dismissed and the claimant has withdrawn the claim;
- enabling an Employment Judge sitting alone to hear Stage 1 equal value claims
plus a whole host of minor and consequential amendments. The amendments take effect from 6th April 2009.
[Thanks to John Bowers QC of Littleton Chambers for telling me about this]