Skip to main content

ET judgments must stay online

A feature of the employment tribunal system often overlooked by both sides is the publication of tribunal judgments online. Since February 2017, Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunal Service has published online all tribunal judgments and written reasons via the public Register.   

You might be thinking that you need to go to that specific online Register address to access the judgments, but this is  not the case.  A simple entry into the Google search engine of the surname of the claimant and the name of the respondent will bring up the relevant publication(s).  For many, this has been a worrying development, as whatever the employment tribunal judge decides to record in the written decision/reasons will be there for all to see. 

A claimant, Miss Ameyaw, in the  recent Employment Appeal Tribunal ("EAT") case of Miss Y Ameyaw v  Pricewaterhousecoopers Services Ltd, decided to challenge the publication of a certain judgment that had formed part of the proceedings in her claim.  There were comments in that judgment about the behaviour of the claimant and her mother at a particular interim hearing and these comments were causing the claimant some concern and, she claimed, affecting her ability to secure new employment. 

The employment tribunal ("ET") decided that it had no discretion to prevent the online publication of the judgment.

Her Honour Judge Eady QC, sitting alone in the EAT, upheld that decision and said,  "There is a general requirement that all ET judgments and written reasons are entered in the public Register". She said that, "There is no power vested in the ET to determine that a judgment should not be entered in the Register and the limited power that exists to exclude written reasons from the Register relates only to national security cases."

It is always worth the parties to ET cases bearing in mind this online publication of judgments and the implications it might have for reputations in future.