DAS Mock Employment Tribunal


Employment tribunals were originally set up in order for them to be speedy and informal and a place in which parties
can resolve their employment disputes. If a party isn’t able to resolve
a workplace dispute informally, then they can bring a claim to an employment
tribunal for any breach of their legal rights. What constitutes an employment tribunal panel
is typically one employment judge, and in some cases you have one
employment judge and two lay members. Those lay members will either be
from a HR background or a trade union representative. Now then, Mr. Beamer, this is a claim by
Mr. Ninety for unfair dismissal, I understand. That’s correct, sir, yes. And Mr. Whitehouse, it’s my understanding that
the respondent defends this claim on the basis that this was a fair dismissal
for gross misconduct, is that correct? Yes, sir. Okay, thank you very much. The party who has the burden of proof
in proving their claim is the first person who will give
evidence in an employment tribunal, so in an unfair dismissal claim,
it will be the employer to show that they’ve
dismissed an employee fairly and therefore they will be
the first party to give evidence. In cross-examination, the witness who’s
giving the evidence will be asked questions by the opposing party’s representative. In the course of those questions, those can be ones that help drill down in the evidence
or help the opposing party’s evidence. Ms. Kelly, you were employed as
an accounts supervisor, weren’t you? Yes, I was. That’s a managerial role, isn’t it? It is. What kind of HR-type issues
have you been involved in? Over the years I’ve sat in and note-taken
on redundancy consultation meetings, dealt with some maternity issues,
disciplinary hearings… varied issues. Once a witness finishes
giving their evidence, they will be asked questions
by the opposing party’s representative. Once they’ve been cross-examined, it’s often the case an employment judge
will also ask the witness questions. Ms. Kelly, can I just
clarify with you please, at page 19, your letter inviting Mr. Ninety
to the disciplinary meeting, you draw attention, as you’ve told
this tribunal, to the fact that Mr. Ninety may have been guilty of misconduct. How is Mr. Ninety to know from that letter
what misconduct you’re alleging against him? I do appreciate that I could have perhaps
gone into some more detail in that letter about the allegations but, as I’ve said, I still don’t believe it would have
affected the final outcome. I see. It will then be for
both parties’ representatives to put forward their closing submissions. Closing submissions are very much
their summary of their cases, picking up on any points
in cross-examination and directing the
employment judge on the law. My submission is, sir, that the respondent has failed
to conduct a reasonable investigation, and I also submit, sir, that in the absence
of a reasonable investigation, the claimant’s dismissal
must be unfair. Those are my submissions, sir,
thank you. Thank you, Mr. Beamer.
Mr. Whitehouse? If an employer loses their
employment tribunal claim, it is important for them
to seek advice. The next step will be for the employment
tribunal to list a remedies hearing, which would be to determine whether or not
the claimant is awarded any compensation, and a declaration. In those circumstances, it’s important
for an employer to consider whether settlement should be looked into
in order to meet a resolution of their case. We find in favour of Mr. Ninety. We do not accept that he has
contributed to his dismissal, and therefore make no findings
of contributory fault on his part. In the circumstances, we make judgement
in favour of Mr. Ninety, and will list the matter
for a remedies hearing in due course. If you’re faced with an
employment tribunal claim, the first thing you should do
is seek expert advice. It’s really important that you do so, as there are strict time limits to respond
to an employment tribunal claim. It’s also really important for you
to understand the issues facing your business, and to make sure that you understand
the options available to you. Employment experts will know exactly
what to do to ensure that you’re protected, and that you’re fully prepared
for the hearing. This will include making sure that
witnesses are spoken to, making sure that all the preparation
for documentation is done, and that, as an employer, you understand exactly what’s going to
happen on the day at the tribunal.

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