Unveiling The Proceedings Of An Employment Tribunal Hearing

If you decide to file a claim against your employer, it can feel overwhelming. The purpose of this guide is to provide you with information about the actual process and what to expect when you take such action. Let’s delve into the details to gain a better understanding.

If you find yourself unable to resolve a legal dispute with your employer, such as issues related to unpaid wages, failure to provide notice, discrimination, or unfair dismissal, and you wish to escalate the matter, your final option is to pursue the case through an employment tribunal. This might cause apprehension, but with the assistance of a competent solicitor, you can overcome it and proceed.

In this article, we’ll look at the tribunal process. We’ll explain what happens on the day of the hearing, so if it happens, you know what to expect. Let’s get started.

Early Stages

If you are considering initiating a legal action against your employer related to employment law, it is essential to consult a solicitor as the initial step. The solicitor will attentively listen to the details of your situation and provide expert guidance regarding the viability of your claim, potential risks involved, and associated costs. If you decide to proceed with your dispute, the solicitor will initiate the necessary actions.

To initiate the process, it is recommended to engage with Acas, commonly known as the Advisory, Conciliation, and Arbitration Service. The primary purpose of Acas is to facilitate the resolution of disputes before pursuing legal action, effectively saving both time and money. Notably, a significant 77% of employment-related cases overseen by Acas are resolved without the need for a tribunal hearing. It is important to note that Acas does not provide guidance regarding the merits of your claims or advocate for outcomes that exclusively favour your position. Their role is centered around impartially assisting in finding a mutually agreeable resolution. Additionally, we can act as intermediaries and communicate with Acas on your behalf, elucidating the core issues about your claim, offering advice on the appropriate settlement amount to request, and diligently pursuing the optimal resolution in your best interest.

If a resolution cannot be reached for any reason and you wish to escalate the matter, your legal representative will initiate the process by submitting your claim. Once the claim has been forwarded to the tribunal, your employer will be required to respond. In many cases, a preliminary hearing will follow the response, which serves as a brief session to ensure a smooth proceeding and verify the identities of the involved parties. Subsequently, you and your solicitor will make necessary preparations for the ultimate hearing, during which an employment judge will make a final decision. These preparations encompass various tasks, such as:

  • Before the hearing, it is necessary to share all pertinent documents with both parties to facilitate the exchange of information.
  • Your attorney will assist you in creating a written account of your perspective, commonly known as a statement. If you have individuals who can support your claims, it is essential to obtain statements from them as well.
  • To ensure effective representation at the tribunal, your solicitor will provide comprehensive instructions to the barristers who will argue your case.

Many experienced solicitors in Berkshire handled many cases. They are experts in covering many areas, including Wills, Probate, Lasting Powers of Attorney, family law, employment law, residential and commercial conveyancing, company law, dispute resolution, and commercial litigation.

At the Tribunal

During the scheduled hearing, here is what you can anticipate.

The venue for the hearing will be of moderate size. Seating will be available at the rear of the room, as employment law tribunals are generally open to the public unless specified otherwise.

During the hearing, both the claimant and the respondent, along with their legal representatives, will be seated at the front, facing the Judge. The Judge may be accompanied by two wing members, typically industry experts. Together, they will deliberate on the legal and factual aspects of your case to decide the success of your claim.

Once you have taken an oath to tell the truth, you will proceed to provide your testimony. Your employer’s legal representative, whether it be a solicitor or barrister, will then have the opportunity to cross-examine you, asking questions about the evidence you have presented. Additionally, The Judge and panel members may inquire and seek clarification through questioning. They will also engage in conversations with witnesses from both sides. After all the evidence has been presented, both parties will be allowed to make their closing statements, summarising their positions and making their final case.

Ending Your Tribunal

In a legal proceeding, the case concludes upon the Judge’s final ruling. It is possible to receive the decision on the same day as the hearing, although in more intricate cases, it might require several days or even weeks.

Before the hearing, it is important to be aware that your employer has the option to propose a settlement. Familiarise yourself with the concept of settlements, including what is considered acceptable and what is not, to ensure you are well-informed.