Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Lamentable new rule on EAT appeals

Amendments to the EAT Rules have turned up a howler and represent an affront to justice in my view:

The 1993 EAT Rules have been amended in the Employment Appeal Tribunal (Amendment) Rules 2013, ahead of the introduction of the government's new fee regime for enforcing employment rights. The amendments come into force on the same day - 29th July 2013.

The end of the automatic entitlement to an oral hearing (a so-called 'rule 3(10) hearing') after the sift stage, if the Appellant wishes to challenge the assessment of an EAT Judge that the Notice of Appeal discloses no reasonable grounds for bringing the appeal. Now if an EAT Judge considers that an appeal is "totally without merit" he can order that a party is "not entitled to have the matter heard before a Judge" at a rule 3(10) hearing.

There have been plenty of appeals where they have been refused on the papers but at least the Appellant is permitted to orally try and explain herself. Many of these appeals go on and win. Now this opportunity will be dashed at the strike of a pen.

If the Government wanted to save money then charge for it is my view.

European challenge please somebody!