Before the hearing

What you need to know before a hearing in the Employment Tribunals

The Tribunal will issue orders (sometimes called “directions”) about preparation for a hearing. It is important that all parties comply with them. Parties can ask for the timetable to be varied if there is a good reason.

For simple cases leading to a short hearing the directions can be very limited. In complex cases they can run to many pages. 

In general terms the preparation for a final hearing is in these stages.

Firstly, all parties must have set out their case in the claim form, response form and any permitted amendments. In complex cases the Tribunal will hold a case management hearing to prepare a list of issues and to give directions. In less complex cases this may not be proportionate.

Secondly, all parties have to disclose to the others any relevant documents – whether or not they support their case. The Tribunal can order disclosure of specific documents if they are not provided voluntarily.

Thirdly, all the documents needed for the hearing are compiled into a single page numbered and indexed file or “bundle”. This can be electronic and/or on paper.

Fourthly, the parties send to each other written statements from each person who will give evidence at the hearing.

Finally, each party is responsible for making sure its witnesses attend the hearing ready to give evidence.