WorkLife

Our thoughts on the world of employment law - and beyond.

Employment tribunal decisions (or some of them, anyway), go online

I've lost count of the number of times clients have expressed bafflement (and on occasion, exasperation) on learning that tribunal judgments were not readily accessible online.  Happily, HM Courts and Tribunals have listened, and now have followed through on their announcement last year that new employment judgments would be available on an online register.

You can find the database here.  As well as new decisions, some 2016 judgments have already been uploaded, with more to follow.  The search function is relatively intuitive (unlike many features of the employment tribunal system) and it is possible to search via a number of options (from date and name to judge and jurisdiction).

As with all these things, whilst this is definitely progress it does come with potential downsides.  Employment judges can make some pretty coruscating findings of fact, and parties (including individuals and managers) on the wrong end of a judge's ire will now find it much harder to pretend it never happened.  The move online could also impact on recruitment - whether for applicants or unfortunate managers named (and shamed) in tribunal judgments.   A useful reminder for us all to dust down our recruitment protocols and - in particular - refresh our memories about the rules on victimisation.  It may not be as insidious as checking their Facebook history, but searching for and basing any recruitment decisions on whether individuals have previously featured in tribunal litigation could well be a risky move.

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