Updated road map published for Employment Tribunal proceedings


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A new "road map" for employment tribunal proceedings in 2022/23 has been published by the Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in England and Wales and in Scotland. 

Preliminary hearings will continue to default to video, and this is likely to become the permanent position. The aim, however, is to move towards greater use of in-person hearings, and to reduce the reliance on video, especially for final hearings of standard track and open track claims.

There is an acknowledgment that there won't be a return to the pre-2020 "normal" in employment tribunals, as "normal" ways of working will be changed permanently by HMCTS reform, regardless of the impact of the pandemic.

The road map notes that the majority of hearings across Great Britain are still taking place on a fully remote basis. In some parts of the country this amounts to over 90% of hearings. The aim is to bring this percentage down, but there is also an acknowledgement that, in some cases, a video hearing reflects the preferences of the parties and their representatives. It can also be less costly and less disruptive to the lives of those participating.

The intention is for preliminary hearings, applications for interim relief and judicial mediations to default to video, along with the final hearing of short track claims (for example claims for unpaid wages, notice, holiday pay and redundancy pay), while other types of hearing will vary. However, in every case, it will be open to an employment judge to decide that the default position should not apply, and it will also remain open to the parties to apply to the tribunal for a different approach. This may result in a change of format or a hybrid approach in which one or more of the participants joins remotely.

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