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Etiquette’s of an Employment Tribunal

Very recently I was at the employment tribunal and very embarrassingly (for me) realised my client was not aware of the etiquettes of the tribunal. So I thought I would write a short blog post to help parties understand the rules of the tribunal (though please act with caution as they can differ from tribunal to tribunal):

  1. When the tribunal panel enters and exits a room, stand up, and wait for permission to sit down or leave (unless informed otherwise at the outset of the hearing).
  2. If you are a Claimant never leave the room without requesting an adjournment (witnesses can leave quietly for rest breaks).
  3. When you are answering questions, try and keep an eye on the tribunal panel, if they are writing something down slow down to ensure they have made an accurate note of your answer.
  4. When reading your witness statement out load (which over time we will see less of this) ensure that you stop, preferably at the end of the paragraph, whenever there is mention of pages to the bundle. Your advocate will usually request the tribunal panel to read the relevant pages. If you are representing yourself the tribunal judge is likely to ask you if you would like them to read the pages referred to. 
  5. Ensure you inform your advocate, or the tribunal panel (if you are representing yourself in person), to read all the pages which you believe will further your case. The tribunal panel does not read the bundle in advance of the hearing, and they will only read and (therefore refer to any subsequent judgement) pages which the parties have brought to their attention during the hearing. 
  6. Usually you do not, require permission from the tribunal judge to take off your jacket, however if you are representing in an unfamiliar tribunal, it will not hurt to ask for permission and may save you some embarrassment later.

That is all I can think of however if my fellow colleagues, can think of anything else, please do leave a comment.


Samira Cakali

Samira Cakali is a pragmatic and approachable solicitor advocate with extensive contentious and non-contentious experience in the fields of employment law as well as civil litigation, within a range of commercial businesses from SME’s to multinationals as well as senior executives.

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