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Tribunal Rules Procedure for Rejecting a Claim

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Does an employment tribunal have the legal power to reject a claim under rule 12(1)(b) of the Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2013 without a hearing when it is presented with an ET1 form which cannot sensibility be responded to?

No, held the EAT in The Trustees of the William Jones’s Schools Foundation v Ms R Parry.

The employee’s solicitors attached the incorrect particulars of claim to the ET1 form. It was referred to an Employment Judge under rule 12(1)(b) as it was in a form which could not be sensibly be responded to. The Employment Judge  did not reject the claim. The employer argued this decision was incorrect and the claim should have been rejected as it could not sensibly respond.

The EAT considered whether rule 12(1)(b) is authorised under s7 Employment Tribunals Act 1996 which allows the Secretary of State to make regulations for proceedings to be decided with a hearing. That power is limited to a few specific circumstances and rule 12(1)(b) did not fall within those specific circumstances.

The overall  result was the claim should have been rejected, not under rule 12(1)(b), but under the procedure set out in rule 27 which allows for the Claimant to set out their written reasons as to why the claim should not be dismissed and permitting a hearing on the matter, if required.