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Articles Employment 19th Mar 2020

Employment tribunal telephone hearings

Employment Tribunals announce no in-person ET Hearings from next week – all converted to case management telephone hearing.

The President of Employment Tribunals (Scotland) has issued the following statement.  It states it applies to tribunals in England & Wales as well as Scotland.

“In view of the rapidly changing circumstances created by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in England & Wales and in Scotland have directed that from Monday 23 March 2020 all in-person hearings (hearings where the parties are expected to be in attendance at a tribunal hearing centre) will be converted to a case management hearing by telephone or other electronic means which will take place (unless parties are advised otherwise) on the first day allocated for the hearing.

“This will provide an opportunity to discuss how best to proceed in the light of the Presidential Guidance dated 18 March 2020, unless in the individual case the President, a Regional Employment Judge or the Vice-President directs otherwise.

“If the case is set down for more than one day then parties should proceed on the basis that the remainder of the days fixed have been cancelled.

“For the avoidance of doubt, this direction also applies to any hearing that is already in progress on Monday 23 March 2020 and, if not already addressed before then, the parties may assume that the hearing on that day is converted to a case management hearing of the kind referred to above. The parties remain free to make any application to the Tribunal at any time.”

It should be noted that this announcement is not a cancellation of hearings but an opportunity for the Tribunal and respective parties to decide on next best steps, by way of telephone hearing, in view of the coronavirus pandemic and current Government advice.

If you think this applies to a case your business is involved in you should speak to your legal representative. If your business is not represented in proceedings and you would like further guidance Freeths employment team can assist you.

Freeths’ Employment team have extensive experience of working with employers to manage their workforce, and can help you answer the questions you will no doubt be asking in the wake of coronavirus. Contact our Coronavirus Helpline on 0845 404 4111 for an initial free consultation (on appropriate commercial enquiries only) or e-mail us and one of our Helpline team will get in touch. You can also contact the Helpline for questions relating to managing your workforce, or see our Employer Q&A.

The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the present time and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.

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