Employment Tribunal introduces new measures for 2021/22
The Employment Tribunal (ET) has issued a road map for 2021/22, which outlines the steps it will take over the coming months as the restrictions begin to ease.
The ET has confirmed that most preliminary hearings, and some final hearings, should continue to go ahead virtually using CVP (cloud video platform). They have encouraged using virtual hearings or ‘hybrid’ hearings (a combination of virtual hearings and in-person hearings) wherever possible.
The ET has a large caseload, which Covid-19 has increased even further, and as a result, outstanding claims are facing significant delays for when they will be heard. By listing cases for virtual hearings as much as reasonably possible, the ET is hopeful that this will help to reduce the backlog, as well as keeping those who need to attend Court safe.
Virtual hearings make it easier for Claimants, Respondents and witnesses to attend Court and reduces the need for cases to be re-listed. It is expected that virtual hearings should be used by default over the next two years.
The ET will also be launching a ‘virtual region’ to allow Judges to hear cases, regardless of the region they are assigned to from April 2021 to assist in dealing with caseloads. This is in addition to a new case management system which is due to be in force by May 2021. It is hoped that this new system will improve the efficiency of electronic working and remote hearings.
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