New employment tribunal rules to be introduced in summer 2013

by Laurie Anstis on March 14, 2013

The government has today announced that the planned new employment tribunal rules will come into force in summer 2013.

The ministerial statement to Parliament explains the reason for the delay from the expected implementation date of April:

“It is the Government’s intention that the new rules of procedure will be published to coincide with the introduction of Employment Tribunal fees, which will require additional changes to the rules of procedure. Government believes that whilst the original intention was to introduce the Underhill changes to the rules in April, it is preferable to make both sets of changes to the rules of procedure at the same time, rather than in a piecemeal way. This will allow users of the system to familiarise themselves with one new set of rules, rather than different versions. It is expected that the new rules of procedure will be laid before Parliament in due course, and in good time before they come into force this summer.”

Although the final form of the rules may not be known until later in the year, the government’s formal response to consultation on the rules is expected imminently. The statements say that it was published today, although it is not yet available online. [Update 16:40 – the government’s response to the consultation now available here, with the new rules to be published by May (note 4 here).]

The annoucement was accompanied by a document reviewing progress so far in employment law reform. Page 18 of the document contains a useful timeline of future changes, including the reduction of the cap on compensation for unfair dismissal in summer 2013 and the introduction of financial penalties for employers in spring 2014.