Can a tribunal depart from an agreed list of issues?
Generally not, held the Court of Appeal in Scicluna v Zippy Stitch.
The Claimant alleged an agreement that his pay would be deferred until termination of employment.
At the beginning of the hearing, the parties agreed these issues:-
(a) the Claimant asserted an oral agreement that he receive £100 each day, albeit deferred until the Respondent was able to pay;
(b) the Respondent asserted there was no agreement for payment of a salary.
In the Court of Appeal, the Respondent argued that the finding of an agreement to defer meant the tribunal should have found a deferral until the Respondent was able to pay.
The Court of Appeal, applying Landrover v Short, held an agreed list of issues is "the road map by which the judge is to navigate his or her way to a just determination" and the issues will generally be limited to such. Underhill LJ went further, suggesting departure should only occur in exceptional circumstances.
Thanks to Barnaby Large of No.18 Barristers Chambers for preparing this case summary.