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Can the names of employment tribunal Respondents be disclosed?

In Peninsula Business Services v Information Commissioner the tribunal decided that the list of Respondents to employment tribunal claims held by HM Courts & Tribunal Service is exempt from disclosure under a Freedom of Information Act request.

In 2004, the register of Respondents in employment tribunal claims was made confidential after previously being publicly available. However, HMCTS continued to maintain a list containing Respondents’ details.

Peninsula sought to obtain a list of “the names and addresses of all employing organisations that are respondents in receipt of employment tribunal claims, for England, Wales and Scotland from 1st April 2011 to 1st August 2011“. The case turned on whether or not the list was exempt from disclosure under section 32(1) of the Freedom of Information Act.

The tribunal held that the information given was data that Respondents were required to provide in order to proceed with a particular case. Section 32(1) states that information provided for the purposes of proceedings is to be exempt from disclosure. For that reason, Peninsula’s attempt to acquire the data was unsuccessful.

Therefore, it would appear that the names of Respondents to employment tribunal claims are safe from disclosure for the time being…

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