14 March 2012 #Employment
How many times after weeks of preparation for Tribunal have you received a call the afternoon before to tell you the hearing is not going ahead? It is something that happens to us more than we would like. It is frustrating for clients and solicitors alike and can add to the expense of defending claims when further costs are incurred when the hearing is re listed.
Tribunals in England and Wales now have a policy of listing standard unfair dismissal claims for a one day hearing within 16 weeks of issue by the Employment Tribunal.While the majority view from both Tribunals and users is that the policy is working well, recent tribunal user group meetings have highlighted the issue that Tribunals are over listing cases for full hearing by relying on the assumption that some claims listed will settle. This has often led to postponement of cases that have not settled at the eleventh hour because there is no judge or panel for the case to be heard. Parties have been left facing inconvenience and unwelcome wasted costs.
The question was raised on 5 March 2012 in the House of Commons and detailed statistics provided in response, showing postponements in each region between 2006/07 and 2010/11, however the data does not show the reasons: