The Ministry of Justice's new online
database has now gone live, meaning that in future, employment
tribunal decisions will be easily searchable. In the past, tribunal
decisions have been available only by requesting a search at the
Bury St Edmunds tribunal, which held past records of cases.
At present, the database is patchy and contains about 150
decisions dating back to 2015. However, it is expected that all
decisions will be added in the future. Employment Appeal Tribunal
judgments have been available online for years, but concerns have
been raised about the effect of the new system – employers
who have lost claims (or even settled, if a tribunal claim was
made) will find that information is easily available, and database
searches could become part of some employers' recruitment
processes. Times subscribers can read more on this topic by Taylor
Wessing's Vikki Wiberg
Tribunal review finds no evidence that individuals are
prevented from bringing claims by fees
The Ministry of Justice has published the long-awaited
results of its review of the introduction of fees in the
The review acknowledges that there is has been a fall in claims,
and one that has been significantly greater than was estimated when
fees were first introduced. However, although it finds that
individuals have been discouraged from making claims, it asserts
that there is no conclusive evidence that they are prevented from
doing so. It attributes the drop to those who are put off by the
complexities of the remission scheme, or unaware of it, and to
potential claimants prioritising other non-essential spending. The
review has removed fees for certain claims against the National
Insurance Fund (broadly, where an employer has gone into
insolvency) with immediate effect.
To address concerns about the affordability of claims for those
on low incomes, the review sets out a proposal for widening access
to the Help With Fees scheme by raising the income level at which
claimants can receive fee remission. A
consultation on the changes runs until 14 March 2017.
National Minimum Wage rates to rise from 1 April
The National Minimum Wage (and National Living Wage) rates will
increase from 1 April:
for workers who are aged 25 or over, from (the National Living
Wage) £7.20 to £7.50 per hour
for workers who are aged 21 or over (but not yet aged 25), from
£6.95 to £7.05 per hour
for workers who are aged 18 or over (but not yet aged 21), from
£5.55 to £5.60 per hour
for workers who are under the age of 18, from £4.00 to
£4.05 per hour
For apprentices aged under 19 or in the first year of their
apprenticeship, from £3.40 to £3.50 per hour
If an employer provides a worker with living accommodation, the
maximum deduction from the National Minimum Wage or National Living
Wage which can be made will rise from £6.00 to £6.40
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In SSE Generation Limited v Hochtief Solutions AG and another decided on 21st December 2016, the Court of Session in Scotland considered a contractor's potential design liability under the NEC Form of Contract.
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