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Industrial Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996

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Procedure relating to expert’s report

8A.—(1) In any case involving an equal value claim where a question arises as to whether any work is of equal value to other work in terms of the demands made on the person employed on the work (for instance under such headings as effort, skill and decision) (in this rule hereinafter referred to as “the question”), a tribunal shall, before considering the question, except in cases to which section 2A(1)(a) of the Act of 1970 applies, require an expert to prepare a report with respect to the question and the requirement shall be made in accordance with paragraphs (2) and (3).

(2) The requirement shall be made in writing and shall set out—

(a)the name and address of each of the parties;

(b)the address of the establishment at which the applicant is or, as the case may be, was employed;

(c)the question; and

(d)the identity of the person with reference to whose work the question arises,

and a copy of the requirement shall be sent to each of the parties.

(3) The requirement shall stipulate that the expert shall—

(a)take account of all such information supplied and all such representations made to him as have a bearing on the question;

(b)before drawing up his report, produce and send to the parties a written summary of the said information supplied and representations made under sub-paragraph (a) and invite the representations of the parties upon the material contained therein;

(c)make his report to the tribunal in a document which shall reproduce the summary and contain a brief account of any representations received from the parties upon it, any conclusion he may have reached upon the question and the reasons for that conclusion or, as the case may be, for his failure to reach such a conclusion;

(d)take no account of the difference of sex and at all times act fairly.

(4) Without prejudice to the generality of rule 13(7) where a tribunal requires an expert to prepare a report, it shall adjourn the hearing.

(5) The expert shall, either within 14 days of receiving the requirement or, where paragraph (6) applies, as soon as practicable thereafter, give notice in writing to the Secretary of the date by which he expects to send his report to the tribunal, and the Secretary shall send a copy of the notice to each party.

(6) If the expert considers that he is unable to determine the date referred to in paragraph (5) within the period of 14 days mentioned in that paragraph, he shall promptly give notice in writing to the Secretary of the reasons for his inability to determine that date and of the date by which he expects to be able to send the notice mentioned in that paragraph. The Secretary shall send a copy of any notice sent under this paragraph to each party.

(7) In paragraphs (8), (9) and (10), “the projected date” means the date most recently specified by the expert, in a notice given under paragraph (5) or (8) or in a progress report sent to the tribunal under paragraph (9), as the date by which he expects to send his report to the tribunal.

(8) If at any time the expert considers that there will be a material delay in sending his report to the tribunal beyond the projected date, he shall give notice in writing to the Secretary of—

(a)that fact;

(b)the date by which he now expects to send his report to the tribunal; and

(c)the reasons for the delay including, in particular, whether he considers that any actions or failures to act by a party have, in whole or in part, caused the delay; and

the Secretary shall send a copy of any such notice to each party.

(9) At any time before the tribunal receives the report of the expert the tribunal may, acting on the request of a party or otherwise, require the expert to send a progress report to the tribunal. If so required, the expert shall, as soon as practicable—

(a)if he receives the requirement before the projected date and has not sent his report, prepare and send to the tribunal a progress report—

(i)stating whether he considers that there will be any material delay in sending his report to the tribunal beyond the projected date; and

(ii)if he considers that there will be such a delay, giving the reasons for the delay and stating the date by which he now expects to send his report to the tribunal;

(b)if he receives the requirement on or after the projected date and has not sent his report, prepare and send to the tribunal a progress report giving the reasons for the delay in sending his report and stating the date by which he now expects to send his report to the tribunal;

(c)if he has sent his report to the tribunal, notify the Secretary of that fact; and

the Secretary shall send a copy of any progress report sent to the tribunal under this rule to each party.

(10) If a tribunal considers that—

(a)the projected date specified in a notice given under paragraph (5) indicates that the expert will take longer than is appropriate to prepare his report; or

(b)the projected date specified in a notice given under paragraph (8) or in a progress report sent to the tribunal under paragraph (9) indicates that there will be an unjustifiable delay beyond the previous projected date,

the tribunal may, after seeking representations from the parties and if it considers that it would be in the interests of justice to replace the expert, revoke, by notice in writing to the expert, the requirement to prepare a report; and in that event paragraph (1) shall again apply.

(11) Where a tribunal has received the report of an expert, it shall send a copy of the report to each party and fix a date for the hearing of the case to be resumed; and the date so fixed shall be the earliest reasonably practicable date after the expiration of 14 days from the date on which the report is sent to the parties.

(12) Upon the resumption of the hearing of the case in accordance with paragraph (11) the report shall be admitted as evidence in the case unless the tribunal has exercised its power under paragraph (13) not to admit the report.

(13) Where the tribunal, on the application of one or more of the parties or otherwise, forms the view—

(a)that the expert has not complied with a stipulation in paragraph (3); or

(b)that the conclusion contained in the report is one which, taking due account of the information supplied and representations made to the expert, could not reasonably have been reached; or

(c)that for some other material reason (other than disagreement with the conclusion that the applicant’s work is or is not of equal value or with the reasoning leading to that conclusion) the report is unsatisfactory,

the tribunal, may if it thinks fit, determine not to admit the report, and in such a case paragraph (1) shall again apply.

(14) In forming its view on the matters contained in paragraph (13)(a), (b) and (c) the tribunal shall take account of any representations of the parties thereon and may in that connection, subject to rule 9(2A) and (2B), permit any party to give evidence upon, to call witnesses and to question any witness upon any matter relevant thereto.

(15) The tribunal may, at any time after it has received the report of an expert, require that expert (or, if that is impracticable, another expert) to explain any matter contained in that report or, having regard to such matters as may be set out in the requirement, to give further consideration to the question.

(16) A requirement under paragraph (15) shall be made in accordance with paragraph (2) and shall stipulate that the expert shall make his reply in writing to the tribunal, giving his explanation or, as the case may be, setting down any conclusion which may result from his further consideration and his reasons for that conclusion.

(17) Where the tribunal has received a reply from the expert under paragraph (16), it shall send a copy of the reply to each of the parties and shall allow the parties to make representations thereon, and the reply shall be treated as information furnished to the tribunal and be given such weight as the tribunal thinks fit.

(18) Where a tribunal has determined under paragraph (13) not to admit a report, that report shall be treated for all purposes (other than the award of costs or allowances under rule 12) connected with the proceedings as if it had not been received by the tribunal and no further account shall be taken of it, and the requirement on the expert to prepare a report shall lapse.

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