Kate Brooks

Partner, Solicitor & Head of Employment/HR Services

DATE PUBLISHED: 08 Mar 2016 LAST UPDATED: 12 May 2022

Courtroom drama comes to Dorset with mock tribunal

COURTROOM drama came to Dorset when a mock employment tribunal was staged at the Lighthouse, Poole.

We joined forces with Rubicon People to mount the three hour ‘trial’ which featured real-life barristers.

The case centred on an imaginary case involving a claimant (played by the MD of Rubicon People) sacked for making a derogatory remark about his employer on social media.

The aim was to give a practical insight into the tribunal process and the law surrounding unfair dismissal.

The audience, which was mainly made up of Human Resources (HR) professionals, was able to see at first-hand the cross examination of witnesses and also put their own questions.

Once the case had been heard the judge and two panel members, both volunteers from the audience, went to deliberate and a vote was held for the audience.

Interestingly the audience and the judge came to the same decision that the claimant would succeed in his unfair dismissal claim largely due to the respondent’s procedural errors.

However, it was found that even if a perfect procedure has been followed then there was an 80 per cent chance that the claimant would have been dismissed. This meant that any compensation should be reduced by 80 per cent.

This was the first mock tribunal we have done and as a result of the positive feedback we’ve received we’ll certainly be arranging another in the New Year.

For our part the trial highlighted the importance of a paper trail with all the correct paperwork in place to minimise the risk of tribunal claims. This is something Ellis Jones can offer to employers.

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