Further thoughts on online employment tribunal judgments

by Laurie Anstis on March 3, 2017

The new online database of employment tribunal judgments has now been live for around three weeks.

In that time it has been consistently and regularly updated. It appears that anything that counts as a “judgment” is uploaded, which includes simple records of withdrawals as well as more substantial decisions.

It is possible to subscribe to email or RSS updates for the database, but with many new judgments being added daily it is beyond even the most dedicated researcher to follow all the new decisions.

There are, though, more selective ways of being updated. For instance, if you are interested in any new TUPE decisions, you can select the TUPE jurisdiction from the drop down menu. If you do that, you will get a list of all the TUPE cases. At the top of that list, the “feed” item is now limited only to TUPE cases. By subscribing to that RRS feed through a feed reader such as Feedly you can then get notified only of any new TUPE cases. Unfortunately it does not seem as though this works for email updates, so has to be done via RSS, which is a little more technical. 

This week has also seen what I think is the first case of a news report linking to a decision on the new database. Given that both the respondent in the case and the organisation reporting on the decision were the BBC I doubt that this report resulted from close examination of the online database, but it is welcome to see a news report linking to the authoritative source of tribunal decisions.

Finally, lest anyone get too carried away with researching first-instance decisions, in Capita v Siauciunas (UKEAT/0181/16) the EAT has given a warning of the limited effect of previous employment tribunal decisions in another employment tribunal hearing, with HHJ Hand QC saying “… at the level of the … Employment Tribunal there is no obligation to follow the decisions of other courts and tribunals of the same or equivalent status, although, no doubt, judicial comity and collegiality would suggest that they be considered and afforded proper respect.” Just because one employment tribunal has decided a case in a particular way it does not mean that another is obliged to decide a similar case in the same way.