The EAT has determined it can refuse an application to postpone an employment tribunal hearing if the claimant also has a criminal trial pending, provided there is no risk of self-incrimination.
In this case, the claimant was accused of causing death by dangerous driving. An Employment Judge refused a request to postpone an employment tribunal hearing listed to take place before the criminal trial because there was no link between the subject matter of the trial and that of the hearing. However, it also found that if the claimant’s right to silence was prejudiced by the hearing going ahead, the postponement would have been allowed.
It is important to note that employees subject to criminal proceedings have the right not to disclose evidence which may assist them in an employment matter if to do so would result in self-incrimination. Employers should therefore always take legal advice before making any decisions in respect of such employees, particularly if contemplating their dismissal.
The full case can be found here (Case name: Firouzian v Metroline Travel Limited UKEAT/0233/12/CEA).