If you’ve submitted an Employment Tribunal claim for unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal or discrimination in the workplace then the Employment Tribunal may schedule a Case Management Discussion. This is more likely in discrimination cases as the Employment Tribunal normally issues directions without a Case Management Discussion in cases which only involve unfair dismissal. A Case Management Discussion is an opportunity for the Employment Judge to determine what the issues are in your case and to agree a timetable for certain things to take place (like the disclosure of documents, exchange of witness statements, preparation of the trial bundle and the date of the Employment Tribunal hearing itself. This post will explore how you can best prepare for a Case Management Discussion and how you should deal with it.
- How to prepare for the Employment Tribunal Case Management Discussion
- What will be dealt with at the Case Management Discussion
- What you should do after the Case Management Discussion
How to prepare for the Employment Tribunal Case Management Discussion
The Employment Tribunal will send you a Notice of Case Management Discussion letter at least two weeks before the Case Management Discussion will take place. This will set out where the Case Management Discussion (“CMD”) will take place, at what time, and whether the CMD will require your attendance or will be over the telephone.
If the Case Management Discussion is over the telephone
Make sure that you diarise the date and time of the CMD. 10 minutes before the scheduled start of the CMD sit down at a telephone and call the number specified, putting in the appropriate codes at the required time. You’ll then be patched into a conference call with the Employment Judge and the other side.
If the Case Management Discussion requires your attendance
You should arrive at the appropriate Employment Tribunal at least 20 minutes before the specified start time. Find out who the appropriate Clerk is and introduce yourself to them so they know that you’re waiting. Then go and wait in the appropriate Waiting Room (Claimant’s or Respondent’s) until you’re summoned by the Clerk to the relevant Employment Tribunal hearing room.
What will be dealt with at the Case Management Discussion
Two main things are generally dealt with at Case Management Discussions in the Employment Tribunal:
- What issues there are in the case (i.e. the facts of the case and how the relevant employment law applies); and
- What directions should be given (i.e. what the timetable for the rest of the case will be)
Which order these are dealt within in depends upon how the Employment Judge wants to approach the CMD. However, Judges normally deal with the issues in the case first and then deal with directions. You should try and agree the outstanding issues in the case with the Respondent at least a couple of days before the CMD so that the hearing can be dealt with more efficiently. You may also be able to agree directions with the Respondent. However, the power to decide what directions are given ultimately rests with the Employment Judge.
A good way to prepare for your Case Management Discussion is to download and complete (as much as you possibly can) the Case Management Agenda that the Employment Tribunal will send to you by email (unless you specify that you want correspondence to be sent by post).
You should also try and make notes on what directions the Employment Judge has given and what issues have been discussed at the hearing. This could be valuable at a later date.
What you should do after the Case Management Discussion
The first thing you should do after the Case Management Discussion is diarise the dates that the Employment Judge has given you at the CMD. You will want to make sure that you comply with the directions given otherwise there may be adverse consequences for your case. You will also receive the Case Management Order from the Employment Tribunal three days to a week after the Case Management Discussion.