Judge Brian Doyle, President of the Employment Tribunals, has issued a new protocol setting out a procedure for judicial assessment in employment tribunal claims.
Under the new procedure an employment judge will give a preliminary assessment of the case with a view to encouraging settlement between the parties. It will only take place if both parties agree to it. It is envisaged that the assessment will usually be offered at the first case management hearing after issues between the parties are fully clarified.
In cases where judicial assessment is undertaken, the opinions expressed by the employment judge will be non-attributable and must remain confidential. This means that anything said during the assessment may not be referred to in correspondence or at subsequent hearings.
The judge who conducts the assessment will also not normally be involved in any further part of the proceedings that involve final determination of the parties’ rights, they may still however be involved in the day-to-day management of the case.
The guidance came in to force on the 3rd of October 2016 and it is thought it will be particularly helpful to individuals who are not professionally represented at tribunal. A link to the Protocol can be found here.