The Employment Tribunal Service has produced two on-line videos explaining, very briefly, the Employment Tribunal process from both an employee’s and an employer’s perspective. Each video, which is based on a constructive dismissal scenario, lasts approximately 5 minutes and it is worth a look. For employees and employers reading this in Scotland the process is slightly different in that witness statements are not used. Instead, in Scotland, witnesses are asked questions by the solicitor representing the party that has called the witness and the witness answers based on their recollection of events and with reference to any documents lodged. They are then cross-examined in the same way as set out in the video.
The scenario in the video perhaps gives the impression that the hearings are fairly brief. This is not the case though and, as the commentary recognises, Tribunal hearings can last for several days and even several weeks depending on the complexity of the situation. I also noticed that in the video only a very small number of documents are handed over by the Claimant and the Respondent. In most Tribunal claims a significant amount of documentation will be lodged and, from an employer's perspective, this highlights the importance of keeping an appropriate paper trail when dealing with employment matters.
Appearing as a witness before a Tribunal can be a daunting process. At Morton Fraser we provide witness familiarisation training which is aimed at those who are due to appear as a witness in a Tribunal claim or who may be required to do so in the future.
You can view the Employment Tribunal Service videos at the following link:-