Early judicial assessment of employment tribunal cases
Early judicial assessment of employment tribunal cases

The following Employment guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Early judicial assessment of employment tribunal cases
  • The nature of early judicial assessment
  • The purpose of early judicial assessment
  • The Presidential Guidance and Protocol
  • The likely impact of early judicial assessment

The nature of early judicial assessment

Judicial assessment is an impartial, confidential and provisional assessment of the strengths, weaknesses and risks of the parties’ respective claims, allegations and contentions and any remedies by an employment judge, as part of a preliminary case management hearing (see Practice Note: Employment tribunal case management) in an employment tribunal case. It is only undertaken if all parties consent to it.

Judicial assessment is essentially a form of early neutral evaluation, which is one of the less well-used forms of alternative dispute resolution. For more information on the other forms, see Practice Note: Alternative dispute resolution in employment claims.

The purpose of early judicial assessment

The purpose of judicial assessment is to encourage parties to resolve their dispute by agreement.

The intention is that an early assessment of the case by an employment judge may assist the parties in identifying the real issues in the case and what is at stake, and may clarify and narrow the issues and encourage settlement. This may lead to resolution of the case by agreement between the parties before positions become entrenched and costs excessive, or may shorten and simplify the scope of hearings.

The Presidential Guidance and Protocol

Presidential Guidance in relation to judicial assessment of employment tribunal cases ('the Guidance') was published by the President of