Member Article

Ipswich businesses experienced successful ‘mock’ employment tribunal at leading law firm’s event

Leading Ipswich law firm Prettys recently held a mock employment tribunal for 110 business owners and HR professionals which aimed to help them understand the employment tribunal process.

With employment tribunal claims seeing a year-on-year increase of 26%, the free event closely followed the format of a real Tribunal Hearing. Delegates saw 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 provided 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.”

“The event was a huge success and we have received great feedback from those who attended,” said Vanessa. Last year in the UK, 9,383 claims went to tribunal in the UK. Prettys hoped the event would be valuable to HR experts in the local area and would alleviate some of stress these types of claims can bring to companies.

Attendees described the event as ‘informative’ and ‘extremely well-organised, excellent representation of a real tribunal’. One attendee said that ‘the session has made a tribunal process less daunting’ and another thanked the team for ‘genuinely the best employment event I have attended’.

Vanessa’s colleague, Matthew Cole - an employment expert and partner at Prettys - acted as the judge and other members of the Prettys team portrayed the Claimant and Respondent. The Prettys team were joined by barristers John Gross and Bobby Talalay from 5 Essex Court who represented the Claimant and Respondent and cross examined the witnesses.

“The case we decided to cover followed 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 also considered whether the employer made reasonable adjustments for the employee during the disciplinary process. Whilst it is a hypothetical case, the event covered common issues in the workplace.

Following the success of the event, Vanessa and the employment team were delighted with the feedback from all in attendance and look forward to giving further advice to businesses in the area throughout other activities this year.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Francesca Prince .

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