Tribunal Question

Dear all, 

I am currently working with our employment law consultancy on preparing a draft response letter as a former employee had decided to take us to a tribunal regarding redundancy. Throughout the process I was guided by our employment law consultant who advised us what we could and couldn't do, overall the process was very difficult and kept being delayed by the employee's daughter who was acting as a translator, she has now decided to represent her mother in the tribunal. 

This is the first time this I have been involved in this process and it is a bit daunting when you're in a stand alone HR role. Does anyone have any tips or 'must ask' questions. Our solicitor is very good and will cover all the bases, but I want to be able to use this as a L&D opportunity as well. 

Many thanks 

  • I've be fortunate or (unfortunate I guess) to be the HR representative in Tribunal twice now. The advice is stay relaxed it isn't as scary as you are imagining.. Make sure you know you evidence really well, they will try and trip you on little things so just make sure you are prepped. Finally listen to your legal representative they will guide you through.

    I've also settle twice prior to tribunal at the 11th hour so try not to get upset if you don't actually get into the room.
  • Stay calm and learn from the professionals
    You are not defending.You have a story to tell and do not get dragged down to their level
    It will probably be harder than having a good solicitor on the other side
    Tribunals are all about emotion
    could write a book but they are all different and contrary to popular belief it is not all win-lose. draws and consolation prizes are not uncommon.
  • In reply to Peter Stanway:

    I was once involved in a Tribunal Hearing where the claimant wasn't professionally represented (we as respondents were) and it proved difficult because the Judge (quite rightly and fairly in a way ) seemed to take on the role of legal adviser to the claimant and seemed to allow them a lot freer rein than he would with us. Caused a bit of upset at the time but just had to grin and bear it.
  • Hi Grace.

    I went along to a tribunal to assist a friend who was bringing a tribunal against his employer and the judge allowed me represent him by asking the questions. I did a lot of research of all of the evidence/facts and I wrote down the questions I wanted to ask. If the judge feels you are going off boil they will advise you and if this happens just take a breath and start again. The atmosphere in a Tribunal room is actually quite relaxed although, of course, the judge is always referred to as "Sir".

    Good luck - it really is a great L & D experience.

  • Hi Grace, 4 really great responses here, no doubt more will follow. The key message is: you have a great go-to place with this forum, lots of members will have read your post and thought much the same. This is one of the difficulties with tribunals and that's why mock tribunals are so very popular, it's a shame more of them aren't organised. Until you've been through the tribunal process a few times it's hard to know what to expect and there are forum members here who have taken the tribunal path many times so you can be confident about the quality of their guidance. Please do come back with any questions - no such thing as a stupid question - even if only for a sanity check. It'll help with getting a good night's sleep. :-) And good luck with your case, I hope you achieve the best possible outcome for all concerned.
  • In reply to Nicola Halls:

    Unless they are female and even then they probably just blind-eye those of us who grew up with male judges and Sir just slips out
  • In reply to Nicola Halls:

    There is a proper name for it but I call it 'playing for the other side'
  • In reply to Peter Stanway:

    good point!