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Are there any employment lawyers that could help with few questions re ET?

(13 Posts)
harrypumpkin Sun 01-Nov-09 19:17:24

I am going to ET on my own and have to drop part of my claim which was originally for unfair dismissal and sex discrimination.. I was wondering if someone could help with few questions regarding this as I am preparing for case management discussion. Thank you very much!

RibenaBerry Sun 01-Nov-09 20:12:17

What do you mean you need to drop part of your claim? Which part? I might be able to help with the questions if you give a few more details.

I understand it's difficult to say too much on an open forum, but unfortunately I can't really go offline to discuss things because my work wouldn't be pleased...

Decoupage Sun 01-Nov-09 20:14:59

I could prob provide some views/ideas but like RB need a few more details

harrypumpkin Mon 02-Nov-09 03:54:09

RibenaBerry/Decoupage - Thank you very much, it is v long story - After I lost out in the poll and had no consultation, I was made redundant days before going on mat leave. On my appeal my employer decided to repeat consultation after I return from mat leave (and keep me employed until then)
In the ET form (my big mistake)I claimed wrongly for unfair dismissal! Basically,I would like to know if possible to limit the claim to sd only as they are now asking if I am claiming for constructive dismissal? Sorry I hope this makes sence as there is much more to the case than this short description. Thank you v much in advance!

harrypumpkin Mon 02-Nov-09 05:22:50

RibenaBerry,
I understrand you cna't talk offline. Would you be able to unswer my questions online if I CAT more detailed description of the case to you? Thanks

mustincreasebust Mon 02-Nov-09 13:41:26

I am currently going through the ET process although my hearing isn't for a while. My case is complicated and I will probably will get a solicitor at some point.

In the meantime the following book has demystified the whole process for me and would recommend it.
www.amazon.co.uk/Employment-Tribunal-Claims-tactics-precedents/dp/1903307554/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=bo oks&qid=1257168533&sr=8-2

Also the writers of this book have a website etclaims.co.uk/ which is a goldmine of information.

Good luck, my advice would be to find a good library and do your research. Also staff at tribunals are very helpful if you call them and ask for advice. They can also give you dates on when cases like yours are being heard so that you can attend and get a feel for the process.

harrypumpkin Mon 02-Nov-09 14:25:09

mustincreasebust - Thank you very much for all that. Will definitely have a look at the book and the cite. I am a bit worried about case management discussion at the moment (and I left it too late) in couple of days, did you have yours? How long after cmd is your hearing date? Do you know what the average time between the two dates is or does it depend on the case?
Wishing you best of luck with yours! Thanks again for the info.

mustincreasebust Mon 02-Nov-09 14:50:52

No my CMD is not until after the new year. I can understand you are nervous but as I understand it everyone i.e. judge and so on are sympathetic to people representing themselves so they will be easy on you and someone should be on hand to translate any legal jargon.

I do not know the answer to your questions regarding dates, just call the tribunal they will be able to tell you as they have an idea about their case loads, etc.

Do you have a clear idea about the list of issues you would like discussed? What documentary requests you plan on making from your (ex?) employers?

harrypumpkin Mon 02-Nov-09 16:27:57

mustincreasebust - No. To be honest I was hopping to settle before this but it didn't happen so am a bit stressed out and haven't got much time to prepare. I hope this is not the last chance to ask for documents? Can you give me some examples of the sorts of things you ask for at this stage?

mustincreasebust Mon 02-Nov-09 19:58:22

Ok this is only my plan, I really have no idea what a solicitor would do in my place. But I am going to ask for things like meeting minutes, some email correspondences between my manager and HR, general HR file etc. Basically stuff that I know exists to support my case.

I would recommend to that you call working families first thing tomorrow morning. They are quite stretched but provide an excellent advice line, 0800 013 0313. Between them, the etclaims website and maybe a trip to the library if you have time, I have no doubt you will feel a lot more confident. Well as confident as you be in these matters.

In terms of settlement, obviously I do not know the strength of your case but some employers (mine included) are known to wait until the last possible minute to settle in order to bear pressure.

RibenaBerry Mon 02-Nov-09 20:08:46

Hi,

Harry, I might be able to CAT me, just please don't tell me toooo many details. Don't tell me who your employer is either.

In terms of dropping parts of your case for unfair/constructive dismissal - are you still employed by your employer? If you are, neither of these things apply and you will just go ahead with the sex discrimination. It sounds like this might be the case if they've suspended the consultation. However, the Judge can walk you through this in the hearing. This is the type of legal technicalities they will help you understand.

In terms of disclosure, you don't need to go in with a list of stuff. Both parties are legally obliged to disclose everything that they have that might be relevant, whether positive or negative. Neither you, nor they, can cherry pick. You can't ask only for stuff you think will be useful and you can't only give them the useful stuff. The judge can explain all of this to you in the CMD (and a good one will without you asking).

The only time you need to ask for 'specific disclosure' (i.e. a specific item) is if there's something you want that might not seem relevant to the case without it being pointed out. This is pretty rare. One example might be that, if the employee has found a new job and you are suspicious as the employer that it really started earlier than they are letting on (so their compensation should be lower), you might ask for a copy of their offer letter in the new job.

In terms of time until the hearing, it will depend how busy the Tribunal is and how many days they decide to list the hearing for (longer hearings tend to be further of because of scheduling). I'd guess you're probably looking at four days+ for sex discrimination.

harrypumpkin Tue 03-Nov-09 10:02:46

Thanks everyone!
Ribena, do you think that my employer will order some internal emails to be disclosed emails, couldn't they just deleted some of them if they were damaging for their case?
Also, another question about witnesses. I asked one of my former colleagues but no reply from her, I can't see anyone wanting to give a statement against their employer? Also, my manager will probably be there as witness for my employer but I am not sure about that. Is it ok if I approach to ask if he is going to be their witness and if not, does anyone know if the tribunal would order people to appear? What are the rules about that? Do I need to let my employer know (and also are they going to let me know) everyone who will be witnessing or do I only need to let ET know? Thanks

RibenaBerry Tue 03-Nov-09 10:33:29

The Judge will talk you through this at the hearing, but in outline:

- You have to supply a list of your witnesses in advance. The Judge will probably want to know at the CMD who you plan to call, so that he can work out how long the hearing should be. Your employer will have to do the same;

- You can ask people to give evidence on your behalf, but should only do this if they have something relevant to say - for example if they can give evidence about a conversation you weren't party to. Tribunals are not generally interested in having multiple witnesses to 'back up' a version of events, and they certainly aren't interested in character witnesses;

- You will have to write a witness statement of all your evidence and give it to your employer in advance. They will do the same for each witness. The Judge will set deadlines for this at the CMD - usually a few weeks before the hearing. Any witnesses you want to call will also need to do that, unless witness ordered (see below);

- If a witness has relevant evidence and is refusing to attend, the Tribunal can issue a witness order. In that situation you obviously won't have a written witness statement, so you just examine them by questioning them on the day.

In terms of evidence, destroying relevant evidence once the claim has been issued is basically contempt of court. If they've got lawyers, they will stop them doing this with anything the lawyers know about as the lawyers themselves could also get struck off. If you've got a really shady employer however, I don't see how a Court order would change things. Even a court order relies somewhat on the honesty of those who are following it - the court officials don't come round to check the emails. If you know about an email (e.g. between X and Y around Z date) and it isn't there when you get to disclosure, email and ask why not.

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