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Back to basics

If you’ve been doing employment tribunal work long enough, and well enough, that you’re no longer a beginner, it’s still worth going back to where you started from time to time.

For example:

  • Read a basic guide (Tamara Lewis’ Employment Law: An Adviser’s Handbook
    is the best one-volume guide).
  • Carefully re-read some of the classic cases. For example, almost anyone’s understanding of employment status issues will be improved by reading slowly and critically: Ready Mixed Concrete v Minister of Pensions and National Insurance; Carmichael v National Power Plc and Autoclenz Ltd v Belcher.
  • Pick up one of the standard advocacy texts. I like Keith Evans’ Advocacy in Court. It’s primarily aimed at criminal barristers, but it’s easy to adjust. (It also contains the single best bit of advice for the style of advocacy in tribunals — model yourself on a brisk, efficient civil servant there to help the tribunal by presenting your client’s side.)
  • Arrange to do some training for beginners — so you really have to focus hard on something you already know.

You will probably find that there is some stuff that you should know (and thought you did) which you don’t really. And, with some experience under your belt, you should gain a deeper, more sophisticated understanding of the basics.

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