The Government has published guidance explaining the powers available to Employment Tribunals (ETs) – their use and their application – based on feedback from users of the service which suggested there was a lack of awareness on this issue.
Using case law examples to illustrate how ETs have used the powers at their disposal in the past, the guidance aims to provide reassurance about their purpose and limits, so that users are not dissuaded from proceeding with or responding to a claim, and to increase confidence that poor behaviour in the manner in which proceedings are conducted can have financial consequences.
Whilst the Government is committed to ensuring that people can resolve disputes within the workplace wherever possible, where this cannot be achieved it seeks to ensure that ETs have the case management powers they need to act against employment law breaches or poor conduct during proceedings in line with the following objectives:
- ensuring that the parties are on an equal footing;
- dealing with cases in ways which are proportionate to the complexity and importance of the issues;
- avoiding unnecessary formality and seeking flexibility in the proceedings;
- avoiding delay, so far as is compatible with proper consideration of the issues; and
- saving expense.