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5 May, 2020 Open access

Employment Tribunal Presidents issue joint Practice Direction on documents that are electronically delivered and signed

New guidance confirms that documents delivered electronically will comply with Rules of Procedure if they bear a facsimile of judge’s signature or their typed name

The Presidents of Employment Tribunals, for England and Wales and for Scotland, have issued a joint Practice Direction on documents that are electronically delivered and signed.

Effective from 1 May 2020, the new guidance advises that a written record of an Employment Tribunal (ET) hearing and written reasons must be signed by the ET Judge under rules 61 and 62 of the Employment Tribunals Rules of Procedure, but that -

‘A document of the type described in rules 61 and 62, or any other document which is, in accordance with the Rules or the practice of the tribunal signed by an Employment Judge, and which is delivered by means of electronic communication, shall be treated as signed and authorised by the Employment Judge if it bears:

(1) an electronic facsimile of the Judge’s handwritten signature or

(2) the Employment Judge’s name typed at the end of the document, in the format ‘Employment Judge [surname]’ or ‘Employment Judge [first name initial(s) and surname].'

In addition, the guidance confirms that similar provision is made in cases where a document delivered electronically is signed in the absence of the ET Judge, under the provisions of rule 63.

Presidential Practice Direction - Electronic Signatures is available from judiciary.uk