What happens when a claim is heard by an Employment Tribunal?

What happens when a claim is heard by an Employment Tribunal?

Tribunal claims are heard in public by a panel of three (a legally qualified Employment Judge and two lay members).

The Employment Judge will usually make an introduction and then deal with any preliminary issues. Once any preliminary matters have been dealt with, the Tribunal will want to hear evidence from the witnesses. The question of who gives their evidence first will often depend on the type of claim being heard. Before giving evidence, witnesses will be invited to take the oath or affirm before sitting down.

Depending on the practice adopted by the Tribunal hearing the case, the witnesses will either be asked to read their statement or the Tribunal will dispense with this and read the statement themselves. The witnesses may be asked supplementary questions by their own representative and asked to look at pages in the hearing bundle, to explain their significance. The witness will then be questioned (cross-examined) by the other side’s representative. The members of the Tribunal may then also ask some questions.

Once all witnesses have given their evidence and been cross-examined the parties’ representatives will give their closing submissions, in essence setting out why their client’s case should succeed and not the other.

The Tribunal may either give its decision on the day of the hearing or “reserve” it and provide it to the parties subsequently.

If the Claimant is successful, a further hearing then takes place to consider what compensation they should be paid.


Disclaimer: This information is provided for general guidance only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. You must consult our employment solicitors if you require advice on your situation or circumstances.

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