What is Preliminary Hearing?
A preliminary hearing is a hearing at which the Tribunal may do one or more of the following:
- Conduct a preliminary consideration of the claim with the parties and make a case management order, including an order relating to the conduct of the final hearing;
- Determine any preliminary issue;
- Consider whether a claim or response should be struck out under rule 37 of the ET Rules;
- Make a deposit order under rule 39 of the ET Rules; and
- Explore the possibility of alternative dispute resolution, including judicial mediation.
In practice, a case management hearing takes place early in the life cycle of the tribunal claim, where the Tribunal considers whether to list the final merits hearing immediately or first list a further preliminary hearing to determine a preliminary issue.
A preliminary issue is a substantive issue which may determine liability. Examples of preliminary issues include issues as to jurisdiction, time limits, worker status and whether the Claimant was disabled within the meaning of s 6 of the Equality Act 2010.
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