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Employment Act 2002

Section 25: Power to delegate prescription of forms etc.

70.Section 7(2) of the Employment Tribunals Act 1996 provides that proceedings must be instituted in accordance with employment tribunal procedure regulations. Currently, the main Employment Tribunal Rules of Procedure stipulate that tribunal applications must be in writing and include the applicant’s and respondent’s details and the grounds on which relief is sought. A respondent's notice of appearance must be in writing and must give the respondent’s details, state whether or not he intends to resist the application and if so, the grounds for doing so. The ETS produces two forms, one for use as an originating application (IT1) and one for use as a notice of appearance (IT3). However, the forms have no particular status under the rules.

71.This section amends section 7 of the Employment Tribunals Act 1996 by inserting a new subsection (3ZA). It provides a power for the rules to delegate to the Secretary of State the authority to prescribe a form, which is required to be used to institute proceedings in a tribunal. Alternatively, the section enables the Secretary of State to include the requirements of the form partly in the rules and partly outside the rules. (Existing powers would enable a form to be prescribed in the rules themselves). The same powers apply in relation to the appearance to be entered by the respondent to the proceedings. It is anticipated that the mandatory form and notice will provide more information to the tribunal, and to the other side, at an earlier stage. This will help the tribunal in deciding whether the application would benefit from a pre-hearing review, preliminary consideration or case management hearing, and the length of time required for the hearing. An assessment of the strength of the other side’s case could also be made, which could encourage settlement. The section also enables the rules to delegate to the Secretary of State the power to prescribe that certain documents (such as the written statement of particulars of employment) must accompany either form.

72.Finally, the section enables the rules to include provision to ensure the publication of any requirements prescribed by the Secretary of State by virtue of this section.

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