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Hi,

 

last week I went down with a friend to the local ET centre, she is considering an ET (but I don't think it is a strong claim) and she wanted to see a case in action. We dropped in on what seemed to be a PHR, and which appeared to be somewhat fractious.

 

The claimant was unrepresented and, during the course of the time that we were there, complained more than once to the lone judge that (a) he, the claimant, had no idea that he was going to be attending such a formal hearing that day - he had come along with some notes/bullet-points and no bundle, rather than formalised legal arguments etc; backed up with examples (which the other side's solicitors had done!). The Tribunal had not informed him it was to be such a formal hearing, which left him wholly unprepared - especially lacking in supporting documentation for his notes. The judge had no sympathy for him. We left after half an hour or so, it was a bit of an eye-opener for my friend (not a bad thing I suppose!)

 

Can anyone tell me if there is an onus on Tribunals to clearly inform unrepresented claimants what sort of meeting they are letting themselves in for before they turn up? It is not an unreasonable assumption for a new claimant to make - that all meetings, prior to the main hearing, will be somewhat more 'relaxed' (especially if they have already gone through a 'harmless' CMD). The guy we saw was clearly left floundering due to his ignorance. Should the judge have postponed the meeting perhaps?

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Hi SweetLorraine

 

I think if your representing yourself you need to do lots of research. That research would of told you the kind of preparation that must be done as a minimum. The Tribunal Chairperson would have cut him some slack, but I suppose if he couldn't be bothered to do the minimum work required he can't expect any help. With the internet there is so much help (There is a lot of stuff).

 

http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/wales/work_w/work_problems_at_work_e/work_employment_tribunals_e/preparing_an_employment_tribunal_case.htm


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CMDs actually no longer exist - since the summer, all hearings are now "preliminary hearings" and can cover a wide range of issues.

 

The claimant would have been sent an order, so really it was up to them to prepare themselves. Preparation and research is key - it's still a legal process, so turning up unprepared isn't really acceptable!

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Yes. Going to an ET is after all ultimately the choice of an individual, so it is deemed logical (and probably common sensical! ;) ) that they will be keen to assist themselves as far as they could. They are not expected to be lawyers- and that is for what, as Rebel says, they would be cut slack. But to turn up unprepared means that that fellow was: unable to assist the Tribunal. So what can they do? Double guess him perhaps? :)

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Thanks for the valuable insights. I had a bad enough time when I went to Tribunal ages ago - Lord knows what would have happened nowadays?... :peep:

 

Perhaps some people still hope to engage with the process and simply play it by ear. Not a good idea at all. Though the reading that I did beforehand did not prepare me for the shenanigans that took place. Ancient history to me now thankfully..

 

Maybe the charges help stop some people from becoming their own worst enemy, by stopping them beginning the process in the first place. It would be interesting to see the number of new claims since the introduction of the new changes/charges compared with the 'old' days!

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