Preliminary Matters in Employment Cases
This issue was addressed in case ADJ-00020849. In this case the employer relied on a case of An Employee -v- An Employer UD969/2009 where the EAT was asked to make a decision on a preliminary matter first before moving to hear the substantive case. Given the significant preliminary point raised, the Tribunal moved to hear the preliminary matter first and reached a decision on same. In Bus Eireann -v- Siptu PTD8/2004 the Labour Court indicated that a preliminary point should be determined separately from other issues arising in a case where it could lead to considerable saving in both time and expense and where the point was a question of pure law where no evidence was needed and where no further information was required.
Now the WRC who previously would hear the entire case will hear the preliminary point where it could dispose of the case.
Equally the issue of preliminary points may very well shorten cases considerably if there is an argument in relation to the legal interpretation of certain matters.
*Before acting or refraining from acting on anything in this guide, legal advice should be sought from a solicitor.
**In contentious cases, a solicitor may not charge fees or expenses as a portion or percentage of any award of settlement.