The following information applies only to reviews and appeals of cases which are determined by the Industrial/Fair Employment Tribunal.
To read more about appealing/challenging an arbitrator's award, read the Labour Relations Agency guide to the Arbitration Scheme. Section 9 provides further details on appealing/challenging the award.
Employment-related tribunal judgments and decisions may be changed only:
- if the tribunal decides - at the request of either side or on its own initiative - to review the judgment
- after an appeal by one of the sides involved in the judgment - see appealing against an employment-related tribunal judgment
Getting a tribunal to review a default judgment
You can apply to the tribunal to ask it to review a default judgment. A default judgment is a decision made on a tribunal claim in the absence of a response to a claim within the time limit, or not at all. If it is issued, an employer will not be able to take any further part in the proceedings dealing with the claim. You must apply in writing within 14 days of the date the judgment was sent to you by the tribunal office. Your application must state why the default judgment should be reviewed.
An employment judge may extend the time limit for reviewing a default judgment but only if they think it is just and equitable to do so.
In these circumstances, your application must include:
- your response to the claim
- an application to extend the time limit for presenting the response
- an explanation of why the tribunal did not receive a response containing the necessary information or an application to extend the time limit within the time limit for responding
The tribunal has the power to refuse to review the default judgment, confirm it, change it or revoke it.
Getting a tribunal to review other judgments and decisions
You can apply to the tribunal to ask it to review a:
- decision not to accept your response to a claim
- non-default judgment - ie a judgment other than a default judgment
You must apply in writing within 14 days of the date the judgment was sent by the tribunal office. An employment judge may extend the time limit for reviewing a judgment but only if they think it is just and equitable to do so.
The tribunal may review a decision not to accept your response to a claim if:
- it is in the interests of justice, or
- the decision was wrongly made as a result of an administrative mistake
The tribunal may review a non-default judgment only where:
- The judgment was made in the absence of one side.
- The judgment was wrongly made as a result of an administrative mistake.
- One side did not receive notice of the proceedings leading to the judgment.
- New evidence has become available since the end of the hearing to which the judgment relates, provided its existence could not have reasonably been known at that time.
- It is in the interests of justice to carry out a review. This does not mean a judgment or decision will be reviewed just because you disagree with it. Something must have gone wrong at - or in connection with - the hearing or something must have happened since the hearing which makes the judgment or decision unjust.
If you apply for a review based on new evidence, you must explain why the evidence was not available beforehand and include a full statement of the evidence which you want to introduce.
The tribunal has the power to refuse to review the judgment or decision, confirm it, change it or revoke it.
Relationship between an application for review and appeal
An application for review does not change the time limit for making an appeal to the Court of Appeal, ie you may appeal to the Court of Appeal while waiting for the result of the application - see appealing against an employment-related tribunal judgment.
You must also lodge with the Court of Appeal a copy of the application for review and, if the application has been heard and determined, a copy of the tribunal's decision on the review.