Tag Archive: preparing

When an Et1 Arrives Preparing to Defend an Employment Tribunal Claim

Unless you’re a solicitor, the arrival of an ET1 (tribunal claim) does tend to cast a gloom over the morning …

Employment tribunal claims have risen considerably in recent years. In the current climate contractual variations and redundancy dismissals are commonplace; as I write this another high profile example has emerged. I have just read on the BBC website that Hewlett-Packard have decided to replace Leo Apotheker with Meg Whitman. There probably won’t be an employment tribunal claim in this case – but you never know!

While much of the work of my team is to ensure that employers manage properly, so as to optimise employee output and reduce risk, you can never say never. Tribunal claims can arise at any time and it pays to be prepared. These are some of the tips that we cover in our ET1-Tribunal workshop.

Only about 20% of cases go to trial. The great majority are settled or withdrawn. In the 14 years we have been operating we have only had three cases where clients have taken our advice and still gone to tribunal. We have won each case. However, it costs around 8,000 to win … we have had far more cases where employers have not taken our advice or where people have come to us so late in the day that we’re into damage limitation and we have managed those. Most we have settled. The more knowledgeable and aware of tactics you are in the time period after the ET1 arrives the more likely you are to fight your corner well. From ET1-Tribunal gives you practical, tactical tips. The next workshop is 13th October.

You are free to copy and distribute this Article provided you agree with the terms and conditions of specific web site and/or Article-website-Publisher Guidelines whereby the original author’s information and copyright must be included. The author is Kate Russell of Russell HR Consulting Ltd.

Russell HR Consulting provides expert knowledge in the practical application of employment law as well as providing employment law training and HR support services. For more information, visit our website at or call a member of the team on 0845 644 8955.

Russell HR Consulting offers HR services to businesses nationwide, including Buckinghamshire (covering Aylesbury, High Wycombe, Milton Keynes, Bedford, Banbury, Northampton, Towcester and surrounding areas), Nottinghamshire (covering Chesterfield, Mansfield, Nottingham, Sheffield, Worksop and surrounding areas) and Hampshire (covering Aldershot, Basingstoke, Reading, Farnborough, Fareham, Portsmouth, Southampton and surrounding areas).

Preparing Witnesses for Employment Tribunal

During an employment law workshop recently, we discussed the role of witnesses. If you have dismissed an employee or dealt with the appeal and there’s a subsequent employment tribunal claim, you’re probably going to have to give evidence. It can be quite daunting, so I thought I’d put together some notes to help witnesses prepare for what to expect and how to deal with being a witness.

A tribunal is a public hearing, so members of the public or journalists may be present during the hearing.

Before giving evidence you will be required to stand while you either take the oath or affirm. An oath can be taken on a holy book which the tribunal will have. The alternative is an affirmation which is a solemn civil promise which is not linked to a religious belief.

Witness evidence will be given, either by the witness reading his statement out loud. Alternatively, the tribunal may take the statements “as read”, in which case it will not be necessary for you to read it out loud.

The employer’s legal representative may ask additional questions to expand on or clarify the evidence you have given. The claimant’s representative will then have the opportunity to question you closely about issues referred to in the witness statement and associated issues. This is referred to as “cross-examination”. The members of the panel may also have some questions. At the end of these questions you will be able to stand down.

If there is a break in the hearing whilst you are giving evidence, for example over lunch or overnight, you will be unable to discuss the matter with anyone because you will continue to be under oath.

The vast majority of tribunal claims (80%) settle or are withdrawn. With tribunal claims increasing and the cost of preparing and defending a claim running at about 8,000 to win, it pays to be prepared. If you can do some of the preparatory work, you can save a substantial amount. Find out what to do and how to do it in our practical workshop From E1T to Tribunal. The next workshop is on 13th October.

Russell HR Consulting provides expert knowledge in the practical application of employment law as well as providing employment law training and HR support services. For more information, visit our website at or call a member of the team on 0845 644 8955.

Russell HR Consulting offers HR services to businesses nationwide, including Buckinghamshire (covering Aylesbury, High Wycombe, Milton Keynes, Bedford, Banbury, Northampton, Towcester and surrounding areas), Nottinghamshire (covering Chesterfield, Mansfield, Nottingham, Sheffield, Worksop and surrounding areas) and Hampshire (covering Aldershot, Basingstoke, Reading, Farnborough, Fareham, Portsmouth, Southampton and surrounding areas). You are free to copy and distribute this Article provided you agree with the terms and conditions of the web site and/or Article-website-Publisher whereby the original author’s information and copyright must be included. The author is Kate Russell of Russell HR Consulting Ltd.