Case study

Tribunal approach, reporting mechanisms and development: a large pharmaceutical and healthcare provider

Gateley Legal

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Our client referred a new Tribunal claim to us. We worked with them to draft and finalise the response, following which we immediately conducted a review of all the papers and prepared an initial report for them.

Our view on our client’s Tribunal claim was that there were areas of weakness, particularly with regards to performance management processes, but despite these concerns, the claim could be successfully defended. The Claimant’s valuation of the claim was 5 times our evaluation. We were therefore instructed to proceed to defend the claim.

How did we help?

A bundle of documents was produced and copies were sent to all witnesses and the key members of the HR team. The witnesses included two senior managers who had not been witnesses before. We met them at a location suitable to them to prepare their evidence and we provided them with a link to our virtual training course called ‘Witness for a Day’ which they could view in their own time. A pre hearing conference also took place at which their evidence was tested.

Once the witnesses had been fully prepared, we provided a pre hearing report for our client. The pre hearing report highlights any additional issues which may have arisen following the preparation of the witness statements. It also evaluates the cost benefit to our client of proceeding taking into account complexity, value, sensitivity and the potential outcomes. 

Our client’s Tribunal case proceeded to hearing and it was successfully defended. The witnesses reported that whilst they were nervous about giving evidence, they felt more confident having been fully prepared prior to the hearing.

After the hearing, we prepared a final report for our client which records the outcome and the reason for it. Importantly it also identifies any steps we recommend are taken to avoid the same issue arising again including any training needs. We believe that this is a very important tool for the ongoing development of any organisation. 

Once our client had reviewed the final report, we worked alongside HR to design a training course specifically for managers dealing with performance management. The training course was based on workshops using real scenarios and Tribunal cases relevant to our client. We did not focus on the law but on the practical scenarios which the managers faced day to day. The feedback from the session included comments such as “Useful thought provoking session”, “Grateful I’ve been invited”, “Good top line and refreshing way to highlight some of the critical areas within the field” and “Clarity of equality act, disability discrimination. Simple and clear”.

Do you require HR and employment law support?

We regularly advise our clients on what to do to avoid issues escalating, including clearer communication and delivering training to line managers and operational teams. But if the situation does not improve or you receive a formal Employment Tribunal claim, we can support you at each stage of the dispute process. Please contact our expert below for more information or visit our HR and Employment Law support for retail and hospitality businesses service page.

Gateley Plc is authorised and regulated by the SRA (Solicitors' Regulation Authority). Please visit the SRA website for details of the professional conduct rules which Gateley Legal must comply with.

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