Ipswich law firm hosts ‘mock’ tribunal to help businesses prepare for employment claims

PUBLISHED: 15:01 02 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:02 02 October 2019

Vanessa Bell, head of employment law at Ipswich’s Prettys law firm. Photo: Prettys/Stillview.

Vanessa Bell, head of employment law at Ipswich’s Prettys law firm. Photo: Prettys/Stillview.

An Ipswich law firm is hosting a ‘mock’ employment tribunal to help businesses best prepare against the rising number of claims.

Prettys Solicitors has set up a free event for 110 business owners and HR professionals to help them understand the employment tribunal process.

According to figures from the Ministry of Justice employment tribunal claims are rising 26% year-on-year and have become an issue businesses simply cannot ignore.

The free event will follow the format of a real tribunal hearing and showcase how a case involving claims of unfair dismissal and disability discrimination would unfold.

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"We know tribunal experiences can be a daunting experience for many HR professionals", explained the firm's head of employment Vanessa Bell.

"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.

"Our event will closely follow the format of a real tribunal hearing, with a tribunal bundle, witness statements and the audience will be able to watch the witnesses being cross-examined on their evidence."

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The 'tribunal' will be held at Ipswich's The Avenue Theatre on Thursday, October 3.

Employment expert and Prettys partner Matthew Cole will be acting as judge and other member of the Prettys team will play the claimant and respondent.

Ms Bell added: "The case we have decided to cover follows an unfair dismissal claim brought by a claimant who was dismissed for gross misconduct after inappropriate social media activity during working hours."

"Our claimant in the case has multiple sclerosis and the tribunal will also consider whether the employer made reasonable adjustments for the employee during the disciplinary process.

"Whilst it is a hypothetical case, it covers common issues in the workplace.

"We will ask the audience to vote on what they think the case outcome should be before the judge returns to give the final verdict."

Prettys legal advisors will be on hand throughout the day to provide businesses with practical advice and top tips.

Registration opens at 9.30am and the event is expected to conclude by 4pm.

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