Employment Tribunal hearings to be heard remotely, say top judges

During the COVID-19 pandemic, all Employment Tribunal hearings will be held remotely “where possible”.

The news comes after the Tribunals Judiciary published new guidance urging judges to consider using “electronic communication methods”, such as Skype for business and other video conferencing technology, to hold sessions.

The new guidance will apply to all in-person Employment Tribunal hearings due to start on or before Friday 26 June.

It is understood hearing due to start on or after Monday 29 June will go ahead, in-person, as per usual.

Likewise, all hearings in Central London Tribunals have been postponed “until further notice”.

Additionally, individuals in self-isolation without access to video conferencing software may also apply to postpone their hearing to a later date.

Employment Tribunal presidents Judge Simon (Scotland) and Judge Doyle (England & Wales) said the measures are designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and protect staff, representatives and litigants from harm.

“Our final words are to encourage tribunals, employment judges and all those who seek to access justice through the employment tribunal system to approach the unprecedented circumstances we now face in a spirit of mutual cooperation to maximise the number of hearings that are able to take place through the creative use of all means available, which are compatible with the rules and in particular the overriding objective [of ensuring hearings are just and fair],” said the Tribunals Judiciary.

How do these changes affect you? For help and advice, get in touch with our expert employment law team today.