Learnings from our biggest ever Employment Tribunal Support Group

Last night, we hosted our largest-ever Employment Tribunal support group! Thank you to everyone who joined, especially our special guest for sharing his success story with us. We received a huge amount of questions and gained lots of valuable insights.

Top learnings and tips

Calculating Injury to Feelings

Trying to find an accurate number to place the impact of what happened to your mental health is almost impossible. Take one step forward, and focus on getting evidence to support you, such as GP notes and any time you tried to seek out assistance. Even limited evidence can be helpful for the Tribunal to start calculating what you are owed.

Expect constant denials

As we learned from Donna and our special guest, employers will usually deny everything. It does not matter how much evidence you put in front of them, they will deny it and gaslight you into believing it doesn’t exist. But that doesn’t mean that you’re wrong. Go into this process relying on the truth. Remember, all lies your employer tells are with the purpose of trying to make you give up. Don’t give them any more power.

ACAS: hit or miss?

ACAS is the governmental body meant to help resolve disputes between you and your employer. But as we saw last night, that’s not always the case. Just remember that ACAS is supposed to act as an impartial mediator. If you feel like you’re not being mediated properly or they’re not impartial, don’t feel threatened to continue early conciliation. You can end this process at any time and proceed directly to Tribunal.

Protect your witness statement

Password protect your witness statement when sending it to your employer, especially if you think they’ll delay sending you theirs. As witness statements are important and become the basis for cross-examination during the final hearing, don’t give them a chance to alter theirs after reading yours.

Send your password-protected document first, and send the password when they send their Witness Statement.

To password-protect a Word document:

  1. Open the Word document you want to protect.
  2. Click on the "File" tab located in the top-left corner of the window.
  3. From the menu that appears, select "Protect Document" and then choose "Encrypt with Password."
  4. Choose the password and hit enter to confirm

You know your case

It can be tough going against a solicitor who’s had years of law school and training and has access to extensive resources, including other solicitors who may be able to help them. But you have a huge advantage: This is your case and your story. Your employer’s solicitor is probably dealing with multiple cases and needs to remember so many other things. Your focus on your one case is a strength!

Practice pitching your case in two minutes

Speaking about your case can be hard and emotional. But the law doesn’t leave much room for emotions. The Judge is there to ensure a level playing field, and while they can be sympathetic towards you, they do require you to give a succinct and brief description of your claim to enable them to quickly understand your case.

Practice your claim so it is quick and easy for a Judge to understand. Aim for a short paragraph or a two-minute explanation.

Remember, you’re not trying to convince your colleagues of your claim, you’re trying to convince a legal Judge. If you haven't already, create a free Valla account and use the Claims Builder to help you get started.

Resources mentioned in the webinar