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For most employers or employees going to an Employment Tribunal will be something they have never experienced before, and it can be daunting for all parties involved.

In this article, The McKinstry Company will explain what happens at an Employment Tribunal and what to expect if do you need to attend one.

The Hearing Room

In an Employment Tribunal, the rooms are known as the Hearing or Tribunal rooms, not a Courtroom; however, the setup is similar to that of a court. The Employment Judge (or panel if a case involves discrimination or whistleblowing) sit on a raised bench with the parties sitting across from them. On one side of the Judge’s bench, there is a witness table where any witnesses give evidence.

Unlike the Civil Courts, solicitors sit down to ask questions and make legal submissions and witnesses stay seated to give evidence.

The Tribunal

At Tribunal, each side (and any witnesses they may call) gives their evidence-in-chief and are then cross-examined by the opposition. Following this, a period of re-examination from the opposition is allowed to clarify any matters from cross-examination.

Any documents referred to are generally agreed beforehand, and a copy is on the witness table – the witness will be referred to any relevant pages as required.

Following evidence, both parties give closing submissions. For an unrepresented party this is generally an opportunity to sum up and ask for the Tribunal to find in their favour; if professionally represented the solicitor will usually elaborate their submissions with legal authorities and precedent.

The decision

It is rare for a decision to be given on the  day of the hearing and generally the Employment Judge or panel will reserve judgment to consider all matters and provide a written judgment and reasons within 28 days (or as soon thereafter other work commitments allowing)

Contact The McKinstry Company Employment Lawyers in Ayrshire & Dumfries and Galloway

If you are an employer or an employee facing an Employment Tribunal and are considering professional representation, please contact us on 01292 388048 (Ayr office), 01465 915042 (Girvan office) or complete our online enquiry form and we’ll be back in touch.

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