Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) Procedure

Key Points

  • There is no automatic right for an appeal to be heard. Only appeals which disclose arguable errors of law will proceed to a full hearing. There is a paper ‘sifting’ procedure, and in appropriate cases provision for oral permission hearings, to make a preliminary assessment of the merits of the appeal.
  • Fees are not required to appeal following the Supreme Court’s decision in R (on the application of UNISON) v Lord Chancellor  which found that the statutory instrument imposing fees (which were payable by the appellant in two tranches: the first tranche (£400) shortly after the appeal  was lodged; and the second tranche (£1200) payable if the EAT determined that the appeal was to proceed to a full hearing) to be unlawful and so quashed it.
  • Generally it is impermissible on appeal to raise new points of law which were not run in the employment tribunal or to adduce fresh evidence which was not heard below. There are some limited exceptions.
  • The EAT gives directions for the preparation of hearings. Typically this includes directions as to: documents, skeleton arguments, authorities and in some cases evidence.
  • The EAT has broad disposal powers. If it allows an appeal, depending on the circumstances it can substitute its judgment for that of the employment tribunal or remit the matter for further consideration by the employment tribunal.
  • Appeal from the EAT lies to the Court of Appeal. Permission to appeal is required. 
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