You have always been able to attend the Bury St Edmunds Employment Tribunal Office to view decisions made in the English and Welsh Employment Tribunals. You attended in person and paid a fee, whereas Employment Appeal Tribunals decisions have been available online, for free for some time. There was always some criticism about the accessibility of that Employment Tribunal information so the Ministry of Justice have worked towards a new system publication.
Presently there are a number of decisions available from 2015 onwards. Future Employment Tribunal decisions will be uploaded onto this website. The contents is of course searchable and as this new database gets used the more linked somebody’s name, including an employer’s, will be with the decision that may affect them.
There has always been a risk of adverse publicity for an employer: Employment Tribunals have always been held in public but this new development must increase the risk of adverse publicity? If I was an employer I might also have concerns about the content of judgments becoming searchable (dirty laundry being aired). This is bound to encourage early settlement of cases and make employers particularly twitchy regarding discrimination claims, which, of course, may be taken entirely out of context. Will anyone compile statistics or patterns about businesses involved in the employment tribunals to ‘name and shame’?
On the flip side it would now be possible, on recruitment, to search against an employee’s name to discover if they have had a history with a former employer. An employer doing so would need to be very careful that they weren’t blacklisting an employee, which would be illegal, and detrimental treatment.
Litigants in person having more access to information about what really goes on in tribunal might dampen down unrealistic expectations in relation to how much money they might receive. If they can see the sums of money that are ordinarily awarded in Tribunal Claims, the myth that they are going to receive significant sums might be countered.