October 2019

Ipswich businesses to experience ‘mock’ employment tribunal at leading law firm’s event

Leading Ipswich law firm Prettys is holding a mock employment tribunal for 110 business owners and HR professionals to help them understand the employment tribunal process.

With employment tribunal claims seeing a year-on-year increase of 26%, the free event will closely follow the format of a real tribunal hearing. Delegates will see how a case involving claims of unfair dismissal and disability discrimination would be heard at a tribunal.

The firm’s head of employment, Vanessa Bell, said that the mock tribunal will provide a practical guide and good insight for businesses on how to manage the tribunal process.

“We know that tribunal hearings can be a daunting experience for many HR professionals,” said Vanessa. “We believe strongly in client care and so we decided we wanted to help our clients and other local businesses understand how they can best navigate their way through the tribunal process and fully prepare themselves for a hearing.

“Our event will closely follow the format of a real tribunal hearing, with a tribunal bundle, witness statements and the audience will be able to watch the witnesses being cross-examined on their evidence.”

Her colleague, Matthew Cole - an employment expert and partner at Prettys - will be acting as the judge and other members of the Prettys team will portray the Claimant and Respondent. The Prettys team will be joined by barristers John Gross and Bobby Talalay from 5 Essex Court who will represent the Claimant and Respondent and will cross examine the witnesses.

“The case we have decided to cover follows an unfair dismissal claim brought by a claimant who was dismissed for gross misconduct after inappropriate social media activity during working hours,” said Vanessa.

“Our claimant in the case has multiple sclerosis and the tribunal will also consider whether the employer made reasonable adjustments for the employee during the disciplinary process. Whilst it is a hypothetical case, it covers common issues in the workplace.

“We will ask the audience to vote on what they think the case outcome should be before the judge returns to give the final verdict.”

Vanessa and the employment team will be sharing their knowledge at the event on Thursday October 3 at The Avenue Theatre in Ipswich. The team will give delegates practical advice and top tips throughout the day.

Registration is open from 9.30am and is expected to conclude at 4pm.

Last year in the UK, 9,383 claims went to tribunal in the UK. Prettys hope the event will be valuable to HR experts in the local area and will alleviate some of stress these types of claims can bring to companies.

For more information on Prettys’ employment services please contact Vanessa Bell on 01473 298 208 or email vbell@prettys.co.uk.