A South Essex-based law firm has given its clients, local businesses and professionals including bankers and accountants a masterclass in employment law at a mock employment tribunal.
Palmers Solicitors, which has offices in Basildon, Thurrock and South Woodham Ferrers, held the mock tribunal on Thursday 15 September.
The tribunal concerned a fictitious unfair dismissal and sex discrimination claim brought by Denise Royale against her former employers, Fast Cars Showrooms Limited. The firm’s Managing Director, David Went, was unsure of the current processes to follow for a dismissal which resulted in a claim against him being brought to tribunal.
After hearing detailed legal arguments from barristers, Mike Magee and Shahin Ismail of Fenners Chambers in Cambridge, the case was found in favour of Miss Royale. However, it was a hollow victory as her conduct in a likely fraud meant she walked away with nothing.
Charlotte Woolven-Brown, the solicitor at Palmers who coordinated the event and who took the role of Judge, said: “We’re delighted that this mock tribunal has been such a success. The event was oversubscribed and the room was full.
“It is vital that employers always follow the correct procedures, particularly when it comes to matters around discipline and dismissals. This mock tribunal was a great way to illustrate the potential consequences of getting things wrong and the importance of seeking legal advice at an early stage.”
Tim Steele, a partner at Palmers’ South Woodham Ferrers office who took on the role of the unfortunate Mr Went, added: “We’re always keen to be proactive in engaging with our clients and the local business community on the legal issues that matter to them”.
Fellow partner Carey Jacobs, who played the part of the somewhat dubious claimant, said “those who attended commented that they appreciated not only the entertainment value of the event but also the way in which it cemented the need to comply with proper employment procedures with a view to providing protection against such claims.”