10. Adjourning the hearing
All efforts and attempts are made to prevent or minimize adjournments. In order to observe the principles of natural justice, adjournments may be necessary when the interested parties allege they have not been given a reasonable opportunity to prepare their case, or they or their representative cannot be present on the scheduled date of the hearing. Chairpersons are responsible for deciding whether to grant an adjournment. It is a discretionary power that must be exercised in accordance with the rules of natural justice.
It may also happen that, during the course of a hearing, the Board becomes aware that there is an important witness who ought to have been directed to attend, or that one of the parties possesses further pertinent evidence which perhaps he or she has not brought to the hearing. In the interest of justice and ascertaining the facts, it might be advisable to adjourn the case. The chairperson may also decide to adjourn a case under section 82 when further investigation is required. For example, if the claimant does not have enough insured hours to qualify for benefits, but it is possible that some insured hours were not recorded, the chairperson could refer the case back to the Commission for clarification.
Since an adjournment delays the final disposition of the case and may cause hardship to the claimant, the information requested should be essential to the decision to be rendered by the Board.
In order to provide timely service, adjourned cases are normally rescheduled within 45 days.