My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Bridget Prentice) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
Today, I am announcing measures that build upon the current provisions for enforcement of awards from employment tribunals in the courts.
The High Court Enforcement Officers Association has agreed that a number of its members will take part in a scheme, to be known as employment tribunal fast track, that will assist successful claimant enforce their employment tribunal awards anywhere in England and Wales.
With effect from 6 April 2010, the fast track scheme will allow a High Court enforcement officer to be assigned to their case as soon as the respondent fails to pay the award as ordered. The officer will thereafter progress the case through the court processes and onward to execution of a High Court writ issued against the respondent’s goods.
All the costs of the fast track scheme will be recoverable from the respondent with a small fixed cost liability for the claimant if the award is not recovered.
The award will continue to be registered on the register of judgments, orders and fines which, if left unpaid, could have a detrimental effect upon the credit status of the respondent.
It is our intention to now consider if the fast track scheme can be extended to include recipients of ACAS settlements orders so they too can benefit from the services the High Court enforcement officer.
The Government are determined to ensure that individuals who are entitled to their employment tribunal awards are not denied access to justice by a small minority of unscrupulous individuals or companies who refuse to respect the award. These changes will ensure that all recipients can pursue the payment of their award with ease.