Employment Tribunal verdicts will be made public in 2017
From early 2017 (date to be confirmed) a free online search tool will be made available to the general public. They will be able to search by company name or topic, and find the tribunal judgements for every case.
We fear that this might lead companies to feel compelled to settle out of court, rather than have the case heard at court, due to the potential reputational risk involved from having verdicts available to all.
Although this is done as part of the principle of open justice, it’s unclear at this stage what the full implications may be. It could lead to potential claimants researching their prospects, particularly if they see patterns of previous claims, which could lead to more claims being made. Or it could result in companies “blacklisting” previous claimants as part of their recruitment process.
However, as we see it this could give claimants an additional bargaining power at settlement stage, and potential undeserving claimants additional incentive to bring a case in the first place.