HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has announced that new employment tribunal decisions will be made publicly available online from autumn 2016.
The database will allow the public to search for first-instance judgments from England, Wales and Scotland.
Currently, anyone wanting to search or browse employment tribunal decisions must attend in person at offices in Bury St Edmunds for English and Welsh decisions, and in Glasgow for Scottish decisions.
Copies of specific decisions can be ordered by mail for a fee.
Tribunal decisions on XpertHR
XpertHR regularly reports tribunal decisions of practical interest to HR professionals. Recent case reports have covered:
Past employment tribunal decisions will continue to be available in Bury St Edmunds and Glasgow after the launch of the online service.
HMCTS has not yet made a decision regarding whether or not past judgments will be placed online.
HMCTS gave out letters announcing the upcoming online service to users of the judgment register office at Bury St Edmunds.
A further announcement will provide the specific launch date for the new service.
“Online access to employment tribunal decisions will be a benefit to parties in employment litigation, and will contribute to access to justice generally,” said Qian Mou, employment law editor at XpertHR.
“Although employment tribunal decisions are not binding on subsequent cases, they provide useful examples of how tribunals approach legal issues and fact situations. Easily accessible employment tribunal decisions can also act as incentive for parties to settle their disputes, rather than face potential bad publicity.”
Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decisions and Court of Appeal decisions on employment law are currently available via the EAT online service, the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary’s online service and the British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII).
Decisions of the Northern Ireland Industrial Tribunals and the Fair Employment Tribunal are available online as well.