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  • Technological woes continue.
  • All EAT hearings cancelled between 15 March and 15 April 2020.
  • Some ETs appear to be blanket cancelling all hearings including Central London and East London.
  • Other ETs have been acceding to application to have substantive matters dealt with on telephone PHs.

If you have questions or your own info please let me know at ganderson@littletonchambers.co.uk or tweet me @BarGrahame.

EAT: As colleagues will have noted, the EAT has directed that no hearings will take place until at least prior to 15 April:

“The President of the Employment Appeal Tribunal today announces that due to the rapidly changing circumstances created by the current pandemic, the EAT will not be conducting any hearings (including telephone or Skype hearings) from Wednesday, 25 March 2020 until Wednesday 15 April 2020.  Any appeals lodged with the EAT during this period can only be lodged by email.

Represented parties are asked to assist the EAT by ensuring that any unrepresented parties in their cases are made aware of this notice, which will be posted on the EAT website shortly.”

ET blanket postponements: while I am not aware of any formal announcement, I understand from my own experience and colleagues’ that Central London ET is using a bounce-back email to announce that all hearings have been postponed, including telephone hearings. The email reads:

‘London Central ET regrets that all hearings, in person or by telephone, have been postponed. No in-person hearings will be taking place before the end of June at the earliest and whilst telephone hearings may resume on Monday 30 March, this is not guaranteed.
If you do not hear from the tribunal at the appointed time you should assume that it has unfortunately not been possible to set up the telephone hearing.’


I understand that East London has been doing similar. An email a solicitor of mine received titled ALL HEARINGS ON 24, 25, 26 and 27 MARCH 2020 read:

In light of the Government's announcement last night and in accordance with the Presidential Guidance on the conduct of proceedings during the Coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic, this hearing will no longer take place on the date currently listed.  The hearing is postponed and will be re-listed in due course. Please do not attend the tribunal's premises. Please do not dial into the telephone conference numbers previously provided.

If anyone has similar information in relation to other Tribunals it would be useful to know. 

Substantive hearings by phone: a colleague reports ‘Watford ET let me do a stay application by phone on where there are concurrent High Court proceedings and against a LiP. The EJ had my skelly and auths bundle by email. She was working from home as well’.

Technological woes: I have had a number of colleagues report technical issues at the Tribunal end. In particular, the system being overwhelmed when there are a large number of people on the call: parties would do well to consider whether (all) solicitors need to dial in, as well as clients and counsel. Another issue has been judges being unable to dial themselves in.

I understand from a fee-paid ET judge that the hope is that ETs may be able to conduct mediations, judicial assessments and even short trails using the ET file and electronically submitted documents. No doubt this is a very difficult time for judges and Tribunal staff who will be doing their level best with already very limited resources.

Posted: 25.03.2020 at 14:34
Tags:  Covid-19
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