by Laurie Anstis on March 18, 2014
The President of the Employment Tribunals (England and Wales) has issued guidance on general case management.
The guidance is issued under rule 7 of the Employment Tribunals’ rules of procedure and applies in England and Wales from 13 March 2014.
The guidance is in a different form to the previous guidance on rule 21 judgments and postponements. It is a 40-page document consisting mainly of appendices dealing with particular case management matters, and extending beyond this into such points as the definition of disability.
The appendices are written as a practical guide, and it is not clear whether they are intended to have the same status as the first few pages of the guidance. The first page says that the appendices are provided as “a guide to the parties but are not binding upon the Tribunal in England and Wales”. Presidential guidance itself is not binding, but tribunals have to have regard to it, and it is not clear whether that “have regard to” status is intended to apply to the appendices or not. In any event, practitioners will certainly need to be familiar with the appendices.
The appendices are likely to be the subject of detailed analysis by lawyers over the next few weeks, and it may be that they are revised over time. Some parts still seem to be incomplete, as for instance in paragraph 10 of page 16 where it says “see link” but there is no link. Other elements might be open to legal criticism or argument, as for instance on the question of disability at paragraph 5 on page 14, where the former list of “day to day activities” is cited despite having been abolished by the Equality Act 2010. This guidance certainly seems likely to case more of a stir than the previous guidance on rule 21 judgments and postponements did.