What to expect when attending an employment tribunal?

Nick Singer

20 December 2019

What happens during an employment tribunal?

An employment tribunal can be very daunting and sometimes confusing and preparing for the process is often key to being successful.

Prior to the hearing

Before attending any tribunal, both parties are usually asked to attend a preliminary hearing, which can be either on the phone or in person. This is designed to give each party the opportunity to be informed of the date of the tribunal and how long it should take.

In some cases, before the hearing takes place, there may be an opportunity which would give rise to a potential settlement. This allows the case to be resolved without having the need to go to the employment tribunal itself.

If a settlement can’t be reached and the hearing must take place, this means ensuring that case is put together properly. This includes collecting all the supporting information necessary to present your argument to the tribunal.

Before any employment tribunal hearing, there will be several stages:
• Any required or necessary paperwork prepared, including anything you want to present as evidence
• Correct details of any potential witnesses
• Notes for presenting your case to the tribunal

At the hearing

At the hearing, you will be asked to present any evidence that supports your case in person or via an advocate. The evidence could also include witnesses.

The case is presented to a presiding judge and in some cases with supporting lay officials.

The hearing tends to involve:
• Presenting the case – using evidence and witnesses to argue the key points
• Answering questions – to help provide clearer understanding for the judge
• Deliberation – time taken by the presiding judge to reach a decision on the case
• Final decision – revealing which party has ‘won’ and outlining any additional steps that will need to be taken, such as payment of compensation.

Expert employment barrister Nick Singer explains what to expect at an employment tribunal

Video Transcript

Hello, my name is Mark Ferron MD of castle associates and if you'd like to know what to expect if you're going to attend an employment tribunal then watch this short video and expert barrister Nick Singer will explain.

Well, an employment tribunal is supposed to be an informal environment, it's not like the courts you won't see a doc or anything like that it is designed so a lot of litigants in person there. And so the basic layout you'll have a table for the respondent, you'll have a table for the claimant and there'll be a witness table, all tribunal to laid out a little bit differently. And at the front you'll see the tribunal panel judge and the lay members, it's basically laid out like that and then you go through the evidence you have speeches by each of the advocates and then a decision.

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