Started a Tribunal case against my ex employer - How does their word against mine work?

Hi All,

I am taking my ex employer to an employment tribunal due to disability discrimination.

I have a lot of other evidence down on paper and have a SAR which will show more - My former employer HR team have even let me know this. So I am likely to get a settlement from using ACAS early conciliation first in the Vento middle category.

However there is lots of stuff my Line Manager said to me in one to one meetings that was disgraceful. Can I bring this up with ACAS or in court if we get that far? as it was only us two on the call? will it be a matter of the judge thinking that was likely considering the evidence we already have or will it just be dismissed. obviously people who are out to discriminate will try and leave no tracks behind.

Thanks for advice.
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Comments

  • tacpot12
    tacpot12 Posts: 7,929 Forumite
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    You can bring up the disgraceful statements made by your line manager, but I doubt the judge will give it much credence. It will be very easy for your line manager to say "I didn't say anything like that". The best evidence you could have (in the absence of a recording of the call) would be notes that you made immediately aftert the meeting. These are called cotemporaneous notes. If you made such a note, and then immediately emailed HR to complain (while the exact words the manager used were fresh in your memory) this email will carry a lot more weight than a statement from you saying that he said these things. If you have the notes and they have a timestamp on them that is immediately after the meeting, this is also better than nothing. 
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • It comes down to the credibility of evidence, who the tribunal believe is telling the truth. 

    This will often be with evidence being from an independent source, such as a witness or having contemporaneous notes, such as from a diary or notes taken at the time on an email.  

    There are then other ways as well, such as the consistency of what is being said, are there any gaps or holes in what they are saying, have they changed what they are saying or do they forget portions that might be damaging?

    I haven't often heard of motivation being drawn on, eg do they have an axe to grind, but I wouldn't rule it out.
  • celesp
    celesp Posts: 30 Forumite
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    I have some notes from after the meeting but even during a meeting with HR he denied he made them comments. My line manager refused any meetings being recorded due to privacy reasons as most of the meetings were supposedly about my health although more was said to do with the nature of the work I do.
  • Undervalued
    Undervalued Posts: 8,840 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    edited 6 May 2023 at 6:16AM
    celesp said:
    Hi All,

    I am taking my ex employer to an employment tribunal due to disability discrimination.

    I have a lot of other evidence down on paper and have a SAR which will show more - My former employer HR team have even let me know this. So I am likely to get a settlement from using ACAS early conciliation first in the Vento middle category.

    However there is lots of stuff my Line Manager said to me in one to one meetings that was disgraceful. Can I bring this up with ACAS or in court if we get that far? as it was only us two on the call? will it be a matter of the judge thinking that was likely considering the evidence we already have or will it just be dismissed. obviously people who are out to discriminate will try and leave no tracks behind.

    Thanks for advice.
    Are you getting any legal advice?

    If so, are these alleged "disgraceful" comments actually relevant to your case?

    It is very easy for a litigant in person to devote a lot of time and energy pursuing points that are of no legal relevance whatsoever.


  • Marcon
    Marcon Posts: 10,573 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    celesp said:
    Hi All,

    I am taking my ex employer to an employment tribunal due to disability discrimination.

    I have a lot of other evidence down on paper and have a SAR which will show more - My former employer HR team have even let me know this. So I am likely to get a settlement from using ACAS early conciliation first in the Vento middle category.

    However there is lots of stuff my Line Manager said to me in one to one meetings that was disgraceful. Can I bring this up with ACAS or in court if we get that far? as it was only us two on the call? will it be a matter of the judge thinking that was likely considering the evidence we already have or will it just be dismissed. obviously people who are out to discriminate will try and leave no tracks behind.

    Thanks for advice.
    People often over-estimate the strength of their own case, so it's worth considering whether these remarks would add anything of value. If they would, then it's worth adding them - but beware over-egging the pudding. Credibility starts to falter when people 'remember' (albeit sometimes they genuinely believe it's true) too much detail about things which will support what they are saying, so beware how you phrase any reference to these conversations, especially if you claim your quotes are verbatim.
    Googling on your question might have been both quicker and easier, if you're only after simple facts rather than opinions!  
  • celesp
    celesp Posts: 30 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    celesp said:
    Hi All,

    I am taking my ex employer to an employment tribunal due to disability discrimination.

    I have a lot of other evidence down on paper and have a SAR which will show more - My former employer HR team have even let me know this. So I am likely to get a settlement from using ACAS early conciliation first in the Vento middle category.

    However there is lots of stuff my Line Manager said to me in one to one meetings that was disgraceful. Can I bring this up with ACAS or in court if we get that far? as it was only us two on the call? will it be a matter of the judge thinking that was likely considering the evidence we already have or will it just be dismissed. obviously people who are out to discriminate will try and leave no tracks behind.

    Thanks for advice.
    Are you getting any legal advice?

    If so, are these alleged "disgraceful" comments actually relevant to your case?

    It is very easy for a litigant in person to devote a lot of time and energy pursuing points that are of no legal relevance whatsoever.



    I am receiving advice from ACAS and my trade union but should I also be looking into a solicitor at this point?

    Marcon said:
    celesp said:
    Hi All,

    I am taking my ex employer to an employment tribunal due to disability discrimination.

    I have a lot of other evidence down on paper and have a SAR which will show more - My former employer HR team have even let me know this. So I am likely to get a settlement from using ACAS early conciliation first in the Vento middle category.

    However there is lots of stuff my Line Manager said to me in one to one meetings that was disgraceful. Can I bring this up with ACAS or in court if we get that far? as it was only us two on the call? will it be a matter of the judge thinking that was likely considering the evidence we already have or will it just be dismissed. obviously people who are out to discriminate will try and leave no tracks behind.

    Thanks for advice.
    People often over-estimate the strength of their own case, so it's worth considering whether these remarks would add anything of value. If they would, then it's worth adding them - but beware over-egging the pudding. Credibility starts to falter when people 'remember' (albeit sometimes they genuinely believe it's true) too much detail about things which will support what they are saying, so beware how you phrase any reference to these conversations, especially if you claim your quotes are verbatim.

    I completely agree and whilst what was said to me is disgraceful, What I do not want to do is overestimate how strong my case is, this is where I am seeking advice from my trade union and have a good amount of evidence that is in email format. Although as previously said I know the HR department in my previous employment have found some of the previous evidence that was sent to me via email or Slack chat messages that my line manager did not realise could be retrieved from Slack.

    I just want to put the case across truthfully, I do not want to oversell it but also do not want to do the opposite and make the judge think it was not as bad as it was. I am writing up a timeline and things that were said but if I have no evidence I have just put in brackets that this was during a video call or huddle and I have no recorded evidence.

    Appreciate the advice that has been given so far, thank you everyone. 
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 46,014 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Do NOT approach a solicitor if you have input from your union. Union will end its support if you do.
    Signature removed for peace of mind
  • celesp
    celesp Posts: 30 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    Savvy_Sue said:
    Do NOT approach a solicitor if you have input from your union. Union will end its support if you do.
    Thanks, I actually asked my union the other day whether I should get a solicitor involved as I have not yet. I did not know this.

    Surely there are cons to having a Union Rep vs a Solicitor in your corner when going to court though? I know I am still in early conciliation process for which I think the Union will be perfect. But when it comes to court matters?
  • Marcon
    Marcon Posts: 10,573 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    celesp said:
    Savvy_Sue said:
    Do NOT approach a solicitor if you have input from your union. Union will end its support if you do.
    Thanks, I actually asked my union the other day whether I should get a solicitor involved as I have not yet. I did not know this.

    Surely there are cons to having a Union Rep vs a Solicitor in your corner when going to court though? I know I am still in early conciliation process for which I think the Union will be perfect. But when it comes to court matters?
    You might find it helpful to ask a student law clinic for their thoughts (google on 'student law clinics UK' to find if there's one near you). Most offer advice only rather than representation, but fingers crossed that will be all you need.
    Googling on your question might have been both quicker and easier, if you're only after simple facts rather than opinions!  
  • Undervalued
    Undervalued Posts: 8,840 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    celesp said:
    Savvy_Sue said:
    Do NOT approach a solicitor if you have input from your union. Union will end its support if you do.
    Thanks, I actually asked my union the other day whether I should get a solicitor involved as I have not yet. I did not know this.

    Surely there are cons to having a Union Rep vs a Solicitor in your corner when going to court though? I know I am still in early conciliation process for which I think the Union will be perfect. But when it comes to court matters?
    ACAS is NOT a substitute for proper legal advice. That is not their function.

    Your union is able to provide legal advice, they will have contracts with one or more large firms of solicitors. However that is assuming your case is referred higher than a (usually) lay union "rep".

    A union will ultimately put the needs of the many ahead of the needs of an individual member. Occasionally there can be a conflict between and they will (or certainly may) do what they think will benefit the employees as a whole, rather than forcing an individual case.

    Normally if you seek legal advice elsewhere the union will no longer provide support so that is a significant decision.
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