Guide to What to Expect at an Employment Tribunal
The Tribunal System and its objectivesMost cases are heard at permanent Tribunal offices in the major cities and large towns although additional Hearing Centres are sometimes used, particularly in more remote areas of the country. Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own Tribunal Centres.
An Employment Tribunal operates like a court although it is not as formal. However, like a court it must act independently and cannot give legal advice. Witnesses give evidence, usually on oath, from a separate witness table and normally read their statements out loud. They are then questioned about their evidence or other issues in the case by the other party, the Employment Judge and members of the Tribunal Panel.
The Tribunal’s overriding objective is to deal with the case equitably and justly (from the point of view of both Claimant and Respondent). This includes doing what it can to ensure that all parties are placed on as equal a footing as possible, and dealing with your case as quickly as possible in a way which is proportionate to the complexity of the issues. This may, at times, cause it to appear to favour an un-represented Claimant …