Imagine this: an employee has taken you to tribunal.
And then, with the tribunal settled, they ask the Court of Appeal to withhold the tribunal ruling from the public register because the details are “embarrassing”.
Are they allowed to do this?
Well, here’s what happened recently in the case of L v Q.
In L v Q Ltd 2019 L had brought claims of disability discrimination, harassment and victimisation against his employer, Q Ltd (Q).
At the final hearing, L’s solicitors asked for the tribunal’s judgment to be anonymised and withheld from the public register. They submitted that L was embarrassed about aspects of his case and disability.
When the tribunal agreed to do this, Q appealed.
The Court of Appeal decided that, save for cases involving national security, there’s no explicit power to prohibit the publication of a judgment on the register.
The Court said that case details should not be edited to prevent potential embarrassment – whilst this can be unfortunate, all information should be available to assist readers in understanding the case.
However, the parties can be anonymised, but only where it’s deemed genuinely necessary.
So if an employee threatens you with a tribunal claim, politely tell them that all of the details will be made public when the tribunal makes the final decision.
This may discourage some individuals from bringing claims.
Tribunal rulings must be published in full, even if the employee could be left red-faced.
And they often make for interesting reading!