While many workplace disputes can be resolved through internal grievance procedures, some will require employment tribunal representation. An employment tribunal representative is a legal or moral adviser who helps parties reach a resolution to a dispute in a less stressful and lawful manner. They can help businesses avoid financial losses and reputational damages.
An employment tribunal is a place where people can bring a claim against their employer for unfair or wrongful dismissal, discrimination, victimisation and other statutory rights violations. The hearing is chaired by an employment judge or panel of three, which may include two non-legal members who have experience of work from the perspective of employees and trade unions.
A claimant (the person who is bringing the case) or their representative will give evidence to the tribunal. The tribunal might ask them questions, which is called cross-examination. The tribunal might also call witnesses to give evidence. Witnesses must be questioned under oath or affirm and must promise that what they are saying is true. The tribunal might then decide if the claimant or their representative wins the case.
If the tribunal does not find in favour of either party it may award costs. The losing party might then seek to recover those costs from the winning party.
The cost of having an employment tribunal representative is expensive and the process can take time, especially if there are lots of claims. This is why businesses should consider a legal expenses insurance policy that covers the cost of an employment tribunal representative, in case of a successful claim against them. employment tribunal representative