Yes, the EAT held in Chidzoy v BBC.
The Respondent had overheard the Claimant discussing her case and her evidence with a journalist while under oath. The Claimant had deliberately disregarded warnings given to her on at least six occasions and as a result of this the Respondent was successful in its application for strike out due to the Claimant’s unreasonable conduct and the impossibility of a fair hearing.
Despite the Claimant appealing, the EAT upheld the Tribunal’s decision. The EAT agreed that the requirements in Bolch v Chipman had been considered and met. The requirements to consider are:
- Whether the proceedings have been conducted unreasonably
- Whether a fair trial is still possible
- What remedy is appropriate and whether a lesser sanction might be more appropriate; and
- The consequences of a Debarring Order.
Lesson for employers: the oath rules in Tribunals are the same as the as those in Civil Courts and breach is taken no less seriously. All witnesses in Tribunal proceedings (whether on behalf of the employer or employee) must therefore be very careful and understand the rules.
If you would like any further information on the above or advice on how they apply to your business then please contact Tom Evans, Associate Employment & HR.