Key employment law updates | April 2021

New guidance for Employment Tribunals

A new road map for employment tribunal proceedings has been published which details  the approach for new cases. The guidance advises of the following arrangements:

  • A new virtual region will support the ten current regions, hearing cases from any existing region
  • The position of a legal officer has been created (16 currently recruited) to perform some delegated functions previously performed by judges to assist in backlog in certain applications
  • public preliminary hearings, strike out/ deposit order applications, interim relief applications, and judicial mediations will all be by video;
  • final hearings for more straightforward cases such as unpaid wages, notice, holiday pay, redundancy pay etc) will be by video; and
  • final hearings of other claims such as unfair dismissal or discrimination will vary and depend on the location.  For those Tribunals such as in London and the South East where there is significant backlog of claims, virtual hearings will remain in place for some time while other Tribunals are likely to return to hearings in person.  

Vento bands update

On 26 March 2021, the Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in England and Wales, and in Scotland, issued the Fourth Addendum to the Presidential Guidance on Employment Tribunal awards for injury to feelings. The Addendum outlines updates to the Vento bands which have been adjusted to take account of the RPI measure of inflation.

The Vento bands for claims presented on or after 6 April 2021 are as follows:

  • A lower band of £900 to £9,100 for less serious cases.
  • A middle band of £9,100 to £27,400 for cases which do not merit an award in the upper band.
  • An upper band of £27,400 to £45,600 for the most serious cases.
  • Amounts in excess of £45,600 can be awarded in the most exceptional cases.

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