No response, rejected response or claim not contested: employment tribunals
No response, rejected response or claim not contested: employment tribunals

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

  • No response, rejected response or claim not contested: employment tribunals
  • When rule 21 procedure applies
  • Application on failure to respond to employer's contractual counterclaim
  • The consequences of rule 21 applying
  • Issuing a judgment and/or fixing a hearing
  • Presidential guidance on exercise of rule 21 discretion
  • Separate remedies hearing after judgment on liability issued
  • Extent of future participation
  • Applying for reconsideration of a judgment issued under rule 21

Coronavirus (COVID-19): All proceedings in employment tribunals in England, Wales and Scotland during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and until further notice are operating in accordance with the Presidential guidance and directions now issued, which profoundly affect normal practice. See Practice Note: Operation of employment tribunals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic for full information.

The tribunal has a mechanism, under rule 21, for dealing with the situation where a respondent either does not wish to contest a claim against it, or fails to put in a response to it that is valid under the rules. In such circumstances:

  1. the tribunal will look to see whether judgment might be entered in the claim straight away, without the need for a contested hearing, and

  2. the respondent will lose the ability as of right fully to participate in the remainder of proceedings

The mechanism can also apply to a claimant that does not put in a timely defence to a respondent employer's contractual counterclaim.

When rule 21 procedure applies

The tribunal procedure under rule 21 will apply to a respondent in relation to a claimant's claim against it in three sets of circumstances:

  1. where, in its ET3 response, a respondent states that no part of the claim is contested (see Practice Note: Responding to a claim in the employment tribunal—The form of a response)

  2. where, within 28

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