Employment tribunals typically take place when there is an unresolved issue between an employee and an employer. For example, if an employee feels they were dismissed unfairly, they may ask for a tribunal in order to seek compensation. This is just one example of when you would go to a tribunal, and it is worth knowing how to prepare before and what to expect when the tribunal takes place.
You can either give evidence at a tribunal for yourself, or you can have a representative speak on your behalf, though usually there is a point where you have to give evidence to explain your case. It is also recommended that you dress as smartly as possible, and your mobile phone should be turned off.
It is expected that you arrive half an hour before the allotted time so that the clerk can check you in. You will be in a separate waiting room for your employer, and the clerk will get you into the hearing room once everyone is ready. It is also worth noting that this is likely to be public, so there will be other people around at the same time.
In some cases, an employer’s representative may come into your waiting room. This is so they can talk to your representative (if you have one) as they may be willing to offer a last minute settlement to prevent the case from going any further. If you do reach a settlement before the hearing, it is possible to get the court to record this, so in the event that your employer tries to avoid paying up there is evidence that an agreement was made.
Typically, tribunals will be decided by a panel of three people. While there are no wigs or gowns, the typical rules of a court are expected to be followed in terms of how you address people, give evidence and so forth.
Sometimes a person may feel intimidated during this process. It is possible to have friends or family attend with you. However, it is important that they do not say anything during the hearing or interfere with the hearing.
When anything is being discussed, it is vital to be clear. If there is something you do not understand, do not be afraid to ask and clarify any issues that are brought up. If at any point you feel that an employer or their representative is making efforts to intimidate you then you are within your rights to point this out to the judge.
We can help
It is understandable that people can feel daunted by the process that goes with an employment hearing. At Larcomes we recognise this, and our legal professionals work hard to make people aware of this, guide them and help them as well as provide the best level of representation. If you would like to discuss an upcoming tribunal or want to know whether or not you should pursue one, please contact us today.