Before getting to the tribunal hearing, you should try to evaluate the strength of your case. Your chances of success at an employment tribunal will rarely be clear, as several factors usually need consideration.
If there is no merit to one party’s case, there is also a strong chance the case will be settled before the hearing.
For these reasons, it is worth seeking legal advice at an early stage. The legal team will keep the case under review. If something changes which reduces the chances of success, they can advise on this.
What factors influence the chances of success at an employment tribunal?
In assessing what happened, details of any incident at the heart of the case will be considered. However, how the employer dealt with the situation must also be weighed up. For example, was a fair procedure followed in the event of a dismissal?
While legislation exists that governs employment issues, like the Equality Act 2010, statutes like these essentially set out a framework. They cannot include details of what should happen in every unique situation. For more detail, the tribunal will turn to case law.
Case law involves referring to judgments that have already been delivered by a tribunal or higher court. Similar cases may have been decided in the past, which will give the tribunal a good idea of how to deal with the issue at hand.
Often, the case law may deal with a slightly different point or situation, or there may be different case law with different approaches to the same issue. In these situations, the tribunal will listen to legal argument and then decide what the law says in relation to the case.
While this can be hard to predict, experienced employment lawyers may have a good sense of what the tribunal will decide.
In addition to knowing, understanding, and applying the law, the tribunal also needs to evaluate the evidence.
Evidence comes in many forms. Some may be ‘better’ than others.
Provided it is genuine, of reasonable quality, and has not been tampered with, video footage of an event, a recording of a conservation, or a photograph can be strong evidence.
Bank statements, accounting records, and documents produced at the time of an event are also often used in evidence.
Sometimes an object may also be presented by way of evidence, such as a broken piece of machinery or a faulty computer.
Evidence can also come from witnesses. This also takes many forms. ‘Expert’ evidence could be provided by a professional, such as a doctor or consultant. Usually, evidence also comes from those who may be party to the case, and anyone who witnessed something relevant.
The tribunal will need to evaluate the evidence given by witnesses. They will look for evidence that illustrates which version of events is most likely to be true.
If the applicant (usually the employee) wins, they normally seek a financial payment of some kind. The amount will depend on the nature of the case. However, as there are prescribed formulas which the tribunal must follow, the amount is normally easier to predict.
Increase your chances of success at an employment tribunal
You cannot change what the law says about your case. However, it is always helpful to keep accurate and contemporaneous records of events.
For example, if you are the victim of harassment, keep a daily record and try to log it on a computer so you can show that you wrote the records at the time, while events were still fresh in your mind.
With a good legal team, you should be able to get a clearer idea of what the likely outcome of your case will be.
At Springhouse Solicitors, our team of experienced employment law experts can help with your tribunal case: from assessing your claim and preparing the case, to advising on compensation and procedure.
For an initial conversation, get in touch today.