Are you considering going to an employment tribunal, on your own, no solicitor, no advocate , just you, representing you?
If you are, first things first, this is called a ‘Litigant in Person, ‘LIP’ for short.
And secondly, MASSIVE kudos.
You’re clearly a courageous and brave person willing to stand up for your rights. Also clearly your not the kind of person that’s prepared to accept the treatment you received and want to set the record straight and make sure others don’t suffer.
This kind of bravery, standing up to authority figures and institutions or companies is not an easy choice to make and so it should be seriously acknowledged. We are still seeing today, in the times of #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter movements what it takes to even collectively stand-up against oppression and discrimination never mind standing up on your own. However, if you’ve not heard of the parable of David and Goliath, religious or not, then have a read for some inspiration.
Further, I want to reassure you, you are not alone. There is an increase in people self-representing. More folk out there, just like you who are brave and prepared to learn what it takes to go to an employment tribunal. So don’t feel isolated, you can join our Facebook group here.
But given you’ve made that decision to self-represent at your employment tribunal, now you want to know all about what you don’t know so you can prepare yourself.
Now, before we go over what you need to know, it might be useful to consider what you strategically need to decide first. Answering this question now will in turn save you a lot of emotional strain, time and research as you can focus in on what you NEED to know.
Trust me, because I am sure I don’t need to tell you that it won’t be easy fighting your own case.
Especially if you don’t know anything about the Employment Tribunal legal system, terminology and process and certainly this is all stuff we can help you learn, but if you decide on your strategy and motives now, it can save you a lot of time learning unnecessary legal processes and the emotional strain and worry that comes with these.
So THE question you need to answer now is;
– What is my main intention of going to an employment tribunal?
Normally the options are.
• I want the compensation that I deserve for the discrimination or bad treatment I endured.
• I want compensation AND I need to teach my ex- employer a lesson here and make them suffer like I did.
• I want both of the above, but it goes further than that. I need them to go through this process, so they learn how it feels and face up to the laws that they broke and additionally other people and my ex-colleagues know how wrong it was in the way I was treated.
If the first bullet above is your sole motivation, there is an easier way to get that compensation than going to an employment tribunal.
Instead consider this training course here, this will help you get the compensation you deserve and give you all the tools to negotiate for compensation and yet the main aim is avoiding the pain and hassle of going to employment tribunal, whilst still preparing you in the event your employer stubbornly hangs on despite them having a weak case (there are some really key tips in this training that will help you articulate to your employer the strength of your case and help you clarify this).
But if you are looking at making your employer suffer, then to be honest, the only time an employer, or more importantly your ex- manager(s) that took those decisions against you (behaving in a discriminatory and or unjust way), are in the days before the full employment tribunal hearing.
It might get a little bit uncomfortable for them before any preliminary hearing, but often it’s not until they have to be on the stand and cross examined, by a tough solicitor or a well trained LIP (you- yes you can be that person and you can learn how to do that here) and they are nervous and squirming and had a couple of sleepless night then that is only when their suffering truly starts also that’s really only the stage that it starts to become (prohibitively) expensive for them.
This is often the stage that you might expect to get a settlement offer to stop the employment tribunal proceedings.
One of the ladies I helped Sue, went through our course, that I mentioned earlier and that’s when she received her compensation, but because she followed the plan I laid out and completed the documents and submitted them to the tribunal copying in her employers representative, they knew she was prepared and serious and so she was offered a generous compensation package that saved her the worry of actually having to go to the employment tribunal in the end.
Here are her emails;
My employer agreed to settle at £12,000 and I signed the COT3 this morning!
I couldn’t have done it without my calls with you and the information from your training course.
Ideally, I would have liked to send you a surprise thank you gift. It would give me huge pleasure if you were to feel able to give me your home address so that I can send you a token of my appreciation.
I know you said that testimonials were helpful to you so –
“The treatment from my employer left me feeling confused, helpless and unable to deal with the situation I found myself in. I paid a lot of money to a solicitor to help me through the first stages of my constructive dismissal claim, after which I felt no more in control of my situation and a lot poorer. Then I discovered Stephanie Robinson and HR Solver. Working through the training courses gave me a clear picture of how an Employment Tribunal worked and following the suggested exercises in order to progress my case started to give me a clearer understanding of the grounds for my complaint. It also gave me a feeling of empowerment as I realised that I was capable of taking on my ex-employer without the help of a solicitor. The opportunity to have direct calls with Stephanie at key points during my case and the facility to ask questions on the closed Facebook Group gave me the personal support I needed. As a result of following Stephanie’s advice and training, I have just proactively sought and achieved a settlement agreement with my ex-employer prior to the case going to a hearing. If I hadn’t discovered HR Solver just when I needed them, I would never have had the courage to continue my case, let alone arrive at this positive outcome. Thank you Stephanie! – Sue W”
However, if you want the ‘learning’ to happen, so that others in the future don’t end up following in your footsteps or perhaps indeed ‘management’s’ actions come under scrutiny which might even result in being disciplined themselves….. then going the full way to an employment tribunal is the only way for an employer to learn a ‘proper lesson’ and not just throw money at the problem (as they can be prone to doing).
So if this is you, here’s what you need to know;
- Be prepared for delaying tactics and for tribunals to normally grant a request to delay timelines in the name of being ‘reasonable’.
- Understand that even if you follow the case management orders that your employer might not and this might not prejudice their case.
- Get as much information from your employer as soon as possible. Make a SAR request, some useful information here. Even when you get your information you might not get it all and have to therefore request it again.
- Remember you need to focus in on the legal arguments for your case for unfair dismissal or discrimination. If it’s discrimination the onus is on you in the first place to make the case for discrimination and so you go first in the order of the tribunal. If it’s unfair dismissal your employer will go first and be expected to show why it wasn’t unfair dismissal.
- Be prepared for at least one preliminary hearing before your actual hearing. It’s quite common place for a judge to want to meet the parties for an hour or two in the first instance and the judge’s motives might vary from determining the chances of the case settling, number of days to schedule or to understand the legal arguments and point the parties in the direction of travel required to comply with the case management orders.
- Judges will be understanding and compassionate with LiP’s so don’t be afraid and make your vulnerability (lack of knowledge and experience) your super power. You can ask a lot more and suggest a lot more because you’re not familiar with the rules.
You can do this! Good luck!
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Learn how to get Compensation without going to Employment Tribunal.
BE your own Super CHAMPion
Learn everything you need to make a case for compensation in less than a week. Without the high cost of a lawyer, endlessly searching online and even going as far as an Employment Tribunal. If you are scared about going legal and having a drawn out process. We understand. If you just want to get some compensation to help rebuild your life, learn our proven tactics to get compensation through optimising the use of the statutory early conciliation process.
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