Time Stamped Show Notes:
27s: What does Kevin McNerney do? He is a barrister at St John’s Chambers.
1min 13s: What does he do in his spare time? He is a cyclist and he likes to play squash, he likes to improve everything.
1min 39s: What is his work history? He has been in private practice for 10 years, before that he was with the Royal College of Nursing for 14 years as an in house barrister as senior legal officer for North England.
2mins 28s: Why did you want to be a barrister? He loves it, he loves to persuade people.
3mins 34s: How to start the process of an employment tribunal claim.
- Lodge a grievance – write a short letter of what you find to be unacceptable
- Then talk to an employment lawyer
4mins 54s: Call ACAS if you are still aggrieved. If you have a claim engage ACAS in Early Conciliation which is when you get both sides to agree. You have the employment tribunal after.
6mins 17s: The time limit for Early Conciliation via ACAS is within 3 months. You can then put the claim into the employment tribunal.
7mins 51s: What if it isn’t settled via ACAS? You then put a claim in. Lawyers draw the claim up in a format for the employment tribunal which includes the ET1 form and the employer would put in the defence in an ET3.
8mins 39s: Both sides prepare the case for court. The employment tribunal judge will have a telephone hearing to discuss case management and when to exchange the documents, then set a date for the hearing.
9mins 37s: When can a case settle? At any point.
10mins 06s: How do you call a judge? You address them as either Sir or Ma’am. Normally there is just one judge or a panel of 3 if it’s for something like whistleblowing. This would consist of an employment judge lawyer, one from the industry and one from the trade union.
10mins 54s: What should you wear to a hearing? There are no rules but you get more respect if you dress smarter.
11mins 23s: What do the lawyers wear? There are no wigs, it’s quite informal. Everyone sits down, it is miles from things like the crown court on TV, it’s polite.
12mins 11s: Are members of the public allowed in? Yes, you can have a private hearing but it is rare.
12mins 35s: Do you have any advice? Get an employment lawyer, see if you have household insurance to pay for it. The union would also pay and there are funding streams. Try Citizens Advice Bureau, the law centre. Some barristers can do it on a pro bono basis.
13mins 57s: Do you get the judgement there and then? They will either say to come back in a few hours or they will let you know in writing several weeks later.
14mins 32s: Once you’ve got the judgement, can you appeal the decision? The grounds of appeal are narrow. Only if the judge misunderstood or misapplied the law which governs the situation, the question of fact is unappealable.
15mins 13s: Can they review the decision? If you have lost, you can ask the judge to review if there is new information which was available before.
15mins 38s: What should you do the day before? Reread the witness statement. Think what is crucial for me to win? And what do I need to prove? Think about all the questions you need to bring answers in your case.