Tips and Resources for Self-Representers
Do you want to prepare for your Employment Tribunal case like a pro? Look no further! We share five tips from our first Employment Tribunal Support Group - a community of litigants-in-person - on how to increase your chances of success. From visiting a public hearing to researching similar cases on GOV.UK, building a timeline, and being aware of the "in time" argument, you'll have the right tools to take on your case. And don't forget, you're not alone in this fight. Stay tuned for more details on the Support Group and a list of bonus resources to help you on your journey
1. Visit a public hearing to prepare for your own
The Support Group had lots of creative ways to prepare for hearings, including watching a mock Employment Tribunal on YouTube. Donna shared that she had attended real hearings in her local Tribunal to get an idea of how it all worked - you don't even have to stay the entire time. You do need to ask permission first - here's more details about how to observe a public Tribunal hearing.
2. Read through similar cases on GOV.UK
Many Support Group members mentioned that they had used the Employment Tribunal Decisions database on GOV.UK to research cases like their own. If you've never used this before, look for "Judgment with reasons" when you select a case - those documents have all the details. Valla also has summarised many Tribunal cases on our Real Examples page.
3. Help to work out if your claim is "in time"
Many people in the Support Group shared the same issue - their ex-employers contested that their claims were "out of time", or they worried that this would come out. This is a complex issue and members linked to a law firm's calculator for more information. One tip we talked about was the use of a "continuing act" argument for discrimination claims that helps you bring in issues that may have otherwise been out of time.
4. Building your timeline is essential
Both Donna and Support Group users have shared how essential building a timeline is for your case - we heard one Support Group user describe how she built hers in Excel, and Donna used Valla's free timeline. Either way, having a clear chronological list of what happened with evidence attached will help you all the way through your case - it's worth the effort!
5. You are all not alone in this fight - and we'll meet again!
The biggest thing we learned from the first Support Group was how so many of you felt like you were alone in this fight, only to discover there are so many more of you. Many people asked if we could make the Support Group a regular thing. We're going to do just that - stay tuned for more details!
BONUS - more resources for Litigants in Person!
Here's a final bonus list of resources and tips that people shared from the group:
- This book about how to represent yourself in Employment Tribunal.
- A tip that you can request a transcript of a hearing using this form if you need some extra support.
- Donna has written up a treasure trove of information about how to deal with workplace maternity and sex discrimination.
- And don't forget that Valla has templates for Tribunal and a Tribunal coaching service as well - just hit reply to ask for details about coaching.