What's the difference between the strike out, unless order, and deposit order in an Employment Tribunal?
Content / trigger warning
What's the difference between the strike out, unless order, and deposit order in an Employment Tribunal? And when should you think about using each one?
All three of these are tactics that employers often use, especially the strike out and deposit order, to either intimidate the claimant to drop their claim, or to try and get the court to just throw the claim out, often right at the beginning of the process.
But you can use all three of these and they can be very useful tools in your arsenal either for putting pressure on the respondent or to actually get them to do something when they're not behaving as they should be.
What is a Strike Out?
So let's start with the strike out because this is probably the one that people are most familiar with, because employers often use it.
And the way that they use it is right at the beginning of a case. They will file for a strike out saying that you have no reasonable prospect of success, which is pretty bold.
But actually you can use strike out as well, if they are not complying with any of the rules or with the order of the tribunal. Apply for a strike out today.
What is a Unless Order?
Let's look at the unless order. If your respondent isn't actually playing by the rules, not giving you information, not disclosing something, not obeying the case management orders, then you should typically go with the unless order first because that's the "or else". Unless you do this, then we will strike out your claim.
So typically a Tribunal will expect you to use an unless order first before you go straight to strike out, unless it's pretty egregious. Get an unless order for your case now.
What is a Deposit Order?
The third one is the deposit order. And again, employers will sometimes use this as an intimidation tactic to try and make the claimant have to pay upfront because they say that they don't have a good case and so they're trying to scare the claimant away.
Now, the deposit order has a lower bar. So you'll notice here in point 29, it says a claim or response has little reasonable prospect of success, unlike no reasonable prospect, which is what we saw when we saw the strike out.
So it's a lower bar and what they're saying is a particular part of your claim or your response. If you want to keep pursuing that, you're going to need to pay up to £1000 to continue pursuing it because we think it's on shaky ground and you're really going to need to put up in order to show that you really believe this.
So if your employer is pushing a line that is ridiculous, say they have told you that there's a document that exists that proves this thing, and you know the document doesn't exist, then that could be a good way of forcing them to show their hands or forcing them to face up to the fact that it doesn't by asking for a deposit order.