Did the amendment of the Claimant's case amount to a material change of circumstances so as to allow the tribunal to cancel the listing of a Preliminary Hearing to consider a Deposit Order application?
Not in the circumstances of this case, held the EAT in Liverpool Heart & Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust v Poullis.
At an earlier Preliminary Hearing, an Employment Judge had decided to list a further Preliminary Hearing to consider various potential applications, including one for a Deposit Order. The Claimant subsequently sought to amend his claim and a further hearing, in front of a different Employment Judge, allowed some of the amendments. It was also decided that a Preliminary Hearing to consider making a Deposit Order was no longer appropriate as there was no prospect of a Deposit Order being made.
The EAT held that the discretion of a tribunal to vary case management orders was limited in that the exercise of the power will generally require a material change of circumstances. The tribunal had not identified a material change of circumstances that would allow the decision to 'cancel' the listing of a Preliminary Hearing to consider a Deposit Order application. The amendment to the claim was not a material change as the tribunal itself had made the point that it had introduced no new claims and the legal basis of the claims remained the same.
Thanks to Tim Kenward of 7 Harrington Street Chambers for preparing this case summary.