- Calming Ourselves for What Lies Ahead
- Give Yourself Time to Reflect
- Why Don’t We Ask for and Accept Help from Colleagues?
- How to Discuss Mental Health with an Employee
- Hey! We’re going to Barbados!
- How to Work (and Sleep!) in Hot Weather
- Will You Please Take Notice!!
- Determining the Date of Termination
- Dealing with Smelly Workers
- How to Tackle Difficult Conversations Virtually
- How to Manage an Emotionally Needy Team Member
- Redundancy and Furlough - Part 2
- Redundancy and Furlough - Part 1
- Flexible Furlough
- Back to Work
- Build Your Resilience
- The Overweight Elephant in the Room
- Contractual Skulduggery and TUPE
- Zoom Gloom
- How to Support Employees’ Mental Health During Lockdown
- Obesity, Covid-19 and Business
- Flexible Working Request – Making a Decision
- Supermarket Not Liable for Disgruntled Employee’s Data Breach
- Coronavirus – The Need to Adapt
- Furlough Leave More FAQs
- Furlough Leave Creates Alternative to Lay-Off
- Buying Time – Alternative to Redundancies
- HR in the Time of Coronavirus
- Music at Work
- Snowed Under – Getting to Work in Bad Weather
Employment Law Update – Preparing witnesses for Employment Tribunal
During an employment law workshop recently, we discussed the role of witnesses. If you have dismissed an employee or dealt with the appeal and there’s a subsequent employment tribunal claim, you’re probably going to have to give evidence.
It can be quite daunting, so I thought I’d put together some notes to help witnesses prepare for what to expect and how to deal with being a witness. A tribunal is a public hearing, so members of the public or journalists may be present during the hearing.
Before giving evidence you will be required to stand while you either take the oath or affirm. An oath can be taken on a holy book which the tribunal will have. The alternative is an affirmation which is a solemn civil promise which is not linked to a religious belief.
Witness evidence will be given, either by the witness reading his statement out loud. Alternatively, the tribunal may take the statements “as read”, in which case it will not be necessary for you to read it out loud. The employer’s legal representative may ask additional questions to expand on or clarify the evidence you have given.
The claimant’s representative will then have the opportunity to question you closely about issues referred to in the witness statement and associated issues. This is referred to as “cross-examination”.
The members of the panel may also have some questions. At the end of these questions you will be able to stand down. If there is a break in the hearing whilst you are giving evidence, for example over lunch or overnight, you will be unable to discuss the matter with anyone because you will continue to be under oath.
Tomorrow’s blog will provide some tips on how to be a good witness. The vast majority of tribunal claims (80%) settle or are withdrawn. With tribunal claims increasing and the cost of preparing and defending a claim running at about £8,000 to win, it pays to be prepared. If you can do some of the preparatory work, you can save a substantial amount.
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