Friday, 16 January 2015

Plans to limit the number of adjournments

The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) (the department for economic growth) has issued a consultation document, seeking views on new legislation restricting adjournments in employment tribunals.

The proposals are:-

A. if a party has already been granted two adjournments (for whatever type of hearing, preliminary or final), it will not be allowed a third adjournment.

B. if a request for an adjournment is made less than seven days before the hearing, it will not be granted.

However there will be exceptions to these rules:

(i) both parties agree the adjournment and the tribunal believes it is desirable to facilitate a settlement; or (ii) the adjournment is requested for a reason beyond the party's control (eg an administrative error by the tribunal, or late disclosure of documents by the other side). In such a situation, the postponement may be granted but a new rule will require the tribunal to consider whether a costs order should be made.
(iii) or cryptically if exceptional circumstances apply/

The consultation closes on 12th March 2015. I cannot help that this formulaic approach is unnecessary when Employment Judges are able to make the decision themselves.

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