In the case of Ameyaw v PWC, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) held that the Employment Tribunal (“ET”) does not have the power to remove judgements from the on-line public register.
The Claimant, Miss Ameyaw, applied to have a previous ET judgment, removed from the public register, or in the alternative she asked for her name to be anonymised (an Anonymity Order under Rule 50 of the ET Rules).
After ET hearings, the final judgment and written reasons for the judgment are published on-line in the public register. The Claimant claimed that the publishing of the judgment caused serious damage to her personal and professional life. She specifically stated that she had not been able to find new employment and believed the publication of the judgment was the reason for this.
The ET refused both of her applications. It held that it did not have the requisite power to remove the judgment from the public register, and that her name could not be anonymised as Rule 50 was not engaged.
The Claimant appealed to the EAT, however her appeal was dismissed.
The EAT held that the ET had been correct in determining that it did not have the power to remove the judgment from the public register.
In cases concerning national security, under Rule 94 of the ET Rules, the ET can make certain redactions from its judgment and written reasons as well as providing anonymity. In addition, where required by the interests of justice or in order to protect human rights or in cases involving confidential information (such as sexual misconduct and disability cases) under Rule 50 of the ET Rules, the ET can make certain redactions and anonymise parties from the judgment and written reasons. However, this case did not invoke any of these Rules.
The EAT stated that “the fact that the record of the proceedings, published without restriction, might be painful, humiliating or deterrent would not, of itself, mean that it should not be made public”.
While a hearing may be held in public it is extremely unlikely that this will have any impact on a claimant's future career prospects, unless it is a case that attracts media attention. However, the online publication of judgments means that there is a permanent record to which all future recruiters have easy access.
If you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any other aspect of employment law, please contact us at 02920 345511 or firstname.lastname@example.org.