Should you find that a complaint has been made against your business at the Jersey Employment and Discrimination Tribunal (called a JET1), we can act as your representative at conciliation, in preparing a response, at the case management meeting and at any subsequent tribunal hearing. We are with you every step of the way ensuring that you meet the deadlines imposed by the tribunal process, preparing your defense as efficiently as possible and putting your case clearly and effectively at a hearing.
Below is a simple flowchart showing the process from JET1 to tribunal hearing.
The Tribunal Process
If you receive a copy of a JET1 application form making a complaint by an employee (or potential or ex-employee) to the Jersey Employment Discrimination Tribunal (JEDT), you must respond within 21 days. Because time is of the essence, don't bury your head in the sand and hope it will go away. The sooner you telephone us, the better. Your response takes the form of a JET2 form confirming whether or not you intend to resist the complaint.
Copies of the JET1 and JET2 will then be sent to the Jersey Advisory and Conciliation Service (JACS) unless both parties instruct the tribunal's Registrar not to do so. Conciliation will then be offered to try and reach an agreed settlement, without the need to go to a tribunal hearing. You do not have to accept this offer and the case will go forward to a full tribunal hearing. If a settlement is reached, a compromise agreement is drawn up between you and the complainant and the case is dropped. If no settlement is reached, the case is referred for a full tribunal hearing.
Case management meeting
The Registrar will convene a case management meeting to deliver the directions and orders for the due preparation of the case for the hearing. Directions will be given concerning the attendance of witnesses and their evidence at a hearing; the correspondence, documents and witness statements that are to be included in the case "bundle"; and, the delivery date of the bundle. Sometimes this is done in a face-to-face meeting with the JEDT Chairman, sometimes it is done in writing by the JEDT Chairman. You will be given the names of the case chairman and JEDT members appointed to hear the case. The date for the final hearing of the case will also be set at this meeting.
For complex cases or cases that rely on untried legislation, for example, an interim hearing may be required to determine, in advance of the full hearing, any preliminary issues of law that need to be decided before the complaint can be heard. An interim hearing will be held in front of a full tribunal panel: a case chairman and two panel members.
At a tribunal hearing both parties are given an opportunity to present their case, call witnesses and produce written evidence in support of their case. Parties do not have to have legal representation and can present their own case before tribunal. Obviously, we would advise employers against this choice. When the tribunal has heard the full case put forward by each party and had an opportunity to question witnesses, the chairman will close the hearing in order that the panel can consider the evidence and make a decision. The tribunal's decision will usually be delivered verbally and supported by written reasons. Depending on the circumstances, the tribunal's award may simply be a finding of fact or it may also include a financial award of compensation or damages. Appeals against a tribunal decision on a point of law must be made within 4 weeks to the Royal Court.
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