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Employers Federation Mock Tribunal Workshop

13/11/2023

On 26 October 2023 we held our Mock Tribunal Workshop at the Crowne Plaza, Belfast. We had huge interest in this event which was oversubscribed.

We were privileged to be joined by part time Employment Judge, Employment Judge Browne who presided over the fictional case of Gillian Blair v MPR Limited.

The claim was one of unfair dismissal and sex discrimination claim. Ms Blair was dismissed for offensive language. She alleged that the dismissal was also an act of sex discrimination and that the Company operated a ‘boys club’.

Karen Moore, our Head of Training started off the workshop with an overview of the entire Tribunal process and introduced the case.

Sara Plower Employment Lawyer, acting in the role of Tribunal Clerk, announced the case as would happen in the Tribunal. EJ Browne then greeted the parties and invited them to do a short opening.

Michelle McGinley, acted in the role of the Claimant’s legal representative and Kathryn O’Lone was the Respondent’s representative. Given there was a discrimination aspect to the case, the Claimant presented her case first and she was called, affirmed and then cross examined. The Claimant demonstrated what to do as a witness: remain calm; be reasonable; answer the difficult questions; and expand on the answers when required.

Following a short break, Karen McGonigle, Employment Relations Manager at the Labour Relations Agency provided an overview of the Agency’s role and different forms of conciliation available.

This was followed by the cross examination of the Respondent’s witness who demonstrated what not to do as a witness: being evasive; defensive; and not having prepared.

The Workshop finished with overview of what makes a good and effective witness before Judge Browne delivered his Decision.

This was an invaluable experience for all of the HR professionals and managers who attended the event and this was reflected in the feedback:

“Brilliant opportunity to witness what a tribunal process may look like.”

“A must attend for all HR practitioners not just those facing Tribunal proceedings”

If you are interested in attending our next Mock Tribunal then please contact info@eefni.org and register your interest. We will then be in contact with the next date.