What to expect during your hearing
Arriving at the Appeals Commission
The participants arrive on their scheduled hearing date at the Appeals Commission's office. First they check in with the receptionist who will sign them in as visitors, and then they have a seat in the lobby.
Once the hearing room is ready, an Appeals Secretary will greet the parties in the lobby.
The Appeals Secretary provides administrative support during the hearing, such as monitoring the recording equipment and making copies of documents if needed.
The Appeals Secretary will confirm your name, claim number and address, and then escort the participants into the hearing room.
The hearing room
The participants sit on one side of the hearing room, and the Hearing Panel and Appeals Secretary sit on the other side.
The Hearing Panel usually consists of one Hearing Chair, who sits in the middle, and two Commissioners – one on either side.
The Appeals Secretary will sit at a computer and run the recording equipment in the hearing room. All Appeals Commission hearings are recorded. The Appeals Secretary will also be available to make copies of documents, or display electronic submissions if necessary.
The parties will sit on the other side of the hearing room. Usually the worker and his representative will sit on one side, and the employer and their representative will sit on the other.
Hearings are informal
Our hearings are informal. They are not intended to resemble court proceedings. There is no requirement to dress formally or stand when the panel enters. Our goal is to make the participants feel as comfortable as possible.
Order of events during the hearing
The hearing panel enters the room and introduces themselves. The Hearing Chair explains the powers of the Appeals Commission, and outlines the proceedings that will follow. The panel will also ask if there are any procedural concerns before beginning the hearing.
When the hearing starts, the panel will begin by confirming the issues of appeal. The panel will then ask the appellant (or their representative) to begin by making their arguments. If there is a respondent present, they will then be given the opportunity to make their arguments.
After arguments have been presented, the panel will often take a quick break to discuss what they've heard and to see if any of the panel members have questions.
The panel members will then take turns asking questions and the participants will have an opportunity to respond.
After these questions have all been answered, the panel will ask the participants for any concluding arguments. This is the opportunity to give any final comments, or raise anything you may have forgotten earlier. This concludes the hearing.
The panel will then deliver a few concluding remarks and explain to the participants what to expect next regarding the written decision. Finally, the Appeals Secretary will escort the participants out of the hearing room and back into the lobby where everyone will sign out at our reception desk.
Detailed guidelines related to the hearing
Further details related to the hearing are included in our guidelines:
Getting Ready for the Hearing (Practice Guideline #2)
If you can't make it to your scheduled hearing – Adjournment Requests (Practice Guideline #2B)
Standards of Behaviour for Representatives and Participants (Practice Guideline #3B)
The Hearing and Decision (Practice Guideline #3)
If material needs to be submitted in a different format – Digital Information and Appeals (Practice Guideline #6)