EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNALS - ROADMAP
Over the last few months we have seen significant changes across all industries in an attempt to effectively deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Tribunals have not been any different. A large number of Employment Tribunal Hearings were postponed or instead heard via telephone.
As we see lockdown measures decreasing, the Employment Tribunal have released a 'roadmap' to try and map out a plan to gradually increase the number and type of hearings which can take place this year. The Presidents of the Employment Tribunals have taken into consideration the COVID-19 restrictions which remain in place.
From this month, Tribunals will continue to remotely conduct case management hearings, judicial mediations and hearings involving priority jurisdictions such as applications for interim relief, COVID-19 pandemic-related claims alleging detriment on health and safety or protected disclosure grounds.
Some hearings will take place using the Cloud Video Platform which has been developed by the Ministry of Justice. These hearings will mainly be straight forward money claims and remedy hearings.
It is unlikely that any hearings will place in person in June.
July and August 2020
From July, some standard track cases, such as unfair dismissal, will be heard remotely and some short-track and preliminary hearings will be heard in person in Tribunals which are prepared to deal with social distancing measures. It is unlikely that open-track cases, such as discrimination, will be heard.
September and October 2020
From mid-September, Employment Tribunals will seek to determine open-track cases using Cloud Video Platform. There will be a small number of hearings heard in person.
November and December 2020
The last few months of 2020 have been reserved as a period to review and consolidate. The Tribunal judiciary and staff will continue to familiarise themselves with remote hearing technology.
This roadmap will be dependent upon how the COVID-19 situation continues as well as staffing levels. The Presidents also anticipate that the measures will be put in place at different speeds depending upon the region and resources available.
There is also a list of FAQs which may be useful which can be accessed via https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/FAQ-edition-date-1-June-2020.pdf.
If you have any questions about how this update may affect you, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Employment Team on 01522 814638.