Judicial Assessment

Caragh Bailey
25/01/2021
Judicial Assessment from Employment Law Friend

What is Judicial Assessment?

At your preliminary hearing, you can request an assessment from an employment judge. If they agree that your case is suitable for, they will weigh the strengths and weaknesses of your case and, if appropriate, indicate the most likely outcome if it were to go on to the full hearing.

The judge cannot take either side and can only speak based on the information available at the time. If they give an indication of the outcome of the hearing before further evidence becomes available, it is entirely possible that the assessment given by the judge will no longer be accurate.

It can be especially helpful if you do not have an employment solicitor, or know the strength of your case. Many employees bring their case to the full hearing, expecting that simply being right will be enough. A judicial assessment can indicate when it would be best for you to settle and save yourself the time, stress and costs of going to tribunal.

However, If your employer has a team of professional lawyers behind them and you do not, there is a good chance they will take advantage of the relatively little information available to the judge, to give the impression that their case is as strong as possible, in the aim of weakening your resolve to get you to accept their settlement offer.

What is the difference between Judicial Assessment and Judicial Mediation?

Assessment involves a practical assessment of your case and may give you an indication of the likely outcome of your hearing. judicial mediation may be an outcome of judicial assessment, or it may be offered separately. Mediation is more facilitative; the judge will try to help you reach a settlement, without indicating the strength of your case.

Judicial Assessment: Key features


  • Both parties must volunteer - It is best to notify the other party that you plan to request a judicial assessment so that they are forewarned and more likely to cooperate. It is also recommended that you notify the tribunal in advance.
  • Judicial assessment is usually offered at the first case management hearing (preliminary hearing) - It cannot take place until the issues are clear and the case management orders have been made.
  • It is confidential - You and your employer will have to agree to this before it can take place. However, anything said in the assessment can be used in further without prejudice discussions.
  • The aim is to assist in finding a settlement - If you have no representation (solicitor) the judge should advise you to take proper time to consider before accepting or refusing the offer.
  • The judge who gives your assessment will not decide the outcome of the case - They may hold your judicial mediation, or otherwise be involved in the general management of proceedings, but they will not be involved in any part of the final proceedings which determine your rights.

How to request a Judicial Assessment


  • Notify the tribunal and the respondent that you plan to request a judicial assessment (tick the box in the case management agenda)
  • Prepare a clear outline of your case to present at the preliminary hearing
  • Prepare a draft settlement in case you're able to reach a settlement on the day, include COT3 wording if you expect you may use ACAS to settle your case.
  • Request your judicial assessment at the preliminary case management hearing

Frequently Asked Questions
This service is only available in cases that have a preliminary hearing (case management hearing). These are the more complicated cases.
The assessment happens immediately after your case management hearing and should take no longer than two hours.
No. The judge will not put any pressure on you to settle and whatever is discussed in your assessment cannot be referred to later, except for in without prejudice communications.

Do you need help with your Employment Dispute?
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This content is provided free of charge for information purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. No responsibility for the accuracy and/or correctness of the information and commentary set out in the article, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed or accepted by any member of our company. For employment law advice please get in contact and speak to your employment law solicitors.
 
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