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The “bottom line” for anyone in employee or staff relations is unquestionably the Employment Tribunal. It is where we will “end up” if we cannot resolve issues internally. Currently there are close on quarter of a million Employment Tribunal claims annually and with the average award now £10,000, it is no small risk.

But it is easy, too easy, for control to be taken out of the hands of an employer or a manager by hasty action their or a subordinates part. Indeed, Human Resource managers frequently face the frustration from those who wish (often with good reason) to dismiss an employee but find they have a few hoops to jump through first.

Those who would dismiss employees, “without all this fuss”, will benefit from an Employment Tribunal visit. They will learn what they need to do to achieve legitimate objectives.

Human Resource Managers gain too; in that role I have often had to “restrain” over-enthusiastic managers. Having the confidence to do so is vital. Being familiar with the reality of a Tribunal experience is invaluable.

Those facing a Tribunal hearing shortly will benefit even more than other groups.

Incidentally, those clients whom Employer Solutions support from the outset of an employment problem are 90% safer from an Employment Tribunal claim than the average employer.

A real experience

Our day starts with a pre-Tribunal briefing. Knowing what to expect helps to make sense of what may otherwise be a confusing process.

Your host will help select the most appropriate case to observe. Cases are not put on for the benefit of observers! So choosing the most appropriate case where a choice is possible can increase the value of the day. That said, in nearly twenty years of hosting visits I have never been disappointed. Delegates always leave delighted with what they have learned.

There is invariably a break for lunch and we adjourn to a nearby café to reflect on the experience, socialise with other delegates and try to predict the Tribunal decision! By lunch we have often heard only one side of “the story”. Opinions can change dramatically when, typically, we hear the other side in the afternoon.

A bonus, if the day finishes early, is that the Employment Judge might invite questions after the case. This will not cover the case itself but is interesting and very enlightening.

On most occasions the case runs one full day and we learn the decision of the Tribunal on the day. It is always interesting to hear the decision and the reasons for it. Subject to a decision being made (parties sometimes settle out of court), Employer Solutions will always seek to find the decision for delegates if that takes place on another day.

Sometimes the decision can require clarification to understand it and we always offer a re-cap, with coffee, on the day itself; or by e-mail afterwards.

There is nothing artificial or “mock” about this visit. Delegates often leave stunned making remarks like “the best day’s training in years”.

No convinced? See what some of our clients have had to say.