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Is it ok to get statements for appeal/ tribunal myself?


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Hi,

Thanks for the replies I had for my earlier post, asking if I should go ahead with work's appeal hearing myself now I have an ET date. I am waiting to hear if my ACAS person has got any response from my work, as last I heard they hadn't returned his calls.

 

Does anyone know whether I should be collecting statements off staff (to prove what is/ has been common practice and what has in the past gone without leading to disciplinary actions) myself? My union rep says if I want this evidence collecting I should get it myself. I pointed out that surely the fact I am doing it would leave it open to accusations of leaning on people, leading questions etc. She says it doesn't matter that I am biased, because the statements won't count for anything regardless of whether she or I get them, because anyone acting in my defence is open to the same accusations, and that I shouldn't be asking staff to help as they may end up sacked themselves. She also says statements from former employees (who don't risk being sacked) are worth even less.

 

I think this evidence would help me a lot but it can only be gathered once and I don't want it to be thrown out because of acussations of bias etc. Any advice?

Thank you

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Your union rep is unfortunately correct on both counts. She is just as likely to be accused of bias as you are; and in my own experience anyone still in employment will be unwilling to get involved (and if they give statements they must appear at tribunal - a statement without giving evidence is less than worthless, it doesn't even exist!), and anyone who is a former employee is likley to be considered suspect as they may have ulterior motives as to why they have given it (and the same rule about having to appear applies). So if you think it will help, then you could try to get witness statements, but it's a rare and brave soul who will give one.

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I am a barrister specialising in employment law, and only represent employees. My advice on employment issues is advice - not legal opinion - and is based only on the facts you provide. If you want an accurate assessment of your case and prospects, you should get legal opinion from a lawyer - not a public forum. Anything I tell you is for guidance only, and is based on my experience of the law in the context of what details you provide.

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