Have you been asked to prepare a bundle of documents for your Employment Tribunal matter? Read on for more information.
What is a Document Bundle?
A Bundle of Documents (also known as a Hearing Bundle or Trial Bundle) is an agreed file of documents that both you, and the other party, intend to rely on at your hearing at the Employment Tribunal.
How do I know if I need to prepare a Bundle Of Documents?
You may have received correspondence from the Employment Tribunal setting out Case Management Orders. As the name suggests, these are Orders the Employment Tribunal will have made to ensure the matter is ready and all relevant evidence is available at a final hearing. The Case Management Orders will give instructions about when documents and information should be sent to the other party in your matter. The Case Management Orders will also state who needs to prepare the Document Bundle and when it needs to be finalised by. Although Case Management Orders usually request the employer to prepare the Document Bundle, this is not always the case.
If on review of the Case Management Orders, it is the employer preparing the Document Bundle, this does not mean you have nothing to do. You still have to engage in forming the Bundle and advise the employer (or their representative if they have one) which documents you want to be included.
What should be in the Bundle?
The first documents to appear in your Document Bundle are the Employment Tribunal and ACAS documents, such as the ACAS Early Conciliation Certificate, the Claim Form (ET1), the Response Form (ET3) and any relevant correspondence from the Employment Tribunal (for example, the Case Management Orders).
You will have had to disclose all documents and information relevant to your claim and situation to the other party. After reviewing all these documents, you need to decide which you intend to rely on or refer to at the final hearing. If it is something you will refer to in the final hearing, or contains information you wish to rely on, it should be included within the Document Bundle.
What should not be in the Bundle?
If your employer (or their representative) has sent you correspondence marked ‘Without Prejudice’ or you have correspondence with ACAS about any offers or negotiation, it cannot be included in the Bundle of Documents.
Irrelevant documents should not be included within the Bundle. When forming the Bundle, consider whether the document contains any useful information you want to rely on. If you, or any witness, will not refer or rely on the document, it should not be included within the Bundle.
The Document Bundle should be in a fastened file that can open flat, such as a ring binder or arch lever file. There should be an index of documents at the beginning of the Bundle, like a contents page. It is advisable to have all the Tribunal documents first, and then the remainder of the documents should be in chronological order and paginated.
What if I want documents in the Bundle and the other party has refused to include them?
The Bundle should be an agreed file of documents. However, sometimes it is not possible to agree and one party will want documents included that the other party is not happy with. A document should not be refused just because it does not support your version of events. If it really is not possible to agree the whole Bundle, it should be agreed as far as possible, not including the refused documents. You then need to create a second small Bundle, containing only the documents the other party refused to include within the main Bundle. You should expect to make an application for your disputed documents to be considered by the Employment Tribunal and be ready to explain why they are relevant and/or necessary for the consideration of your matter.
How can Lincs Law Employment Solicitors help?
If you are pursuing a claim at the Employment Tribunal and need assistance with your matter, please call for an initial free consultation on 01522 440512 and one of our qualified employment solicitors would be delighted to discuss the matter with you. Alternatively, for more information about Lincs Law Employment Solicitors and how we can help with your Employment Tribunal matter, please visit our website at https://lincslaw.co.uk/services/employees/employment-tribunal-claims/
Managing Director, Specialist Employment Solicitor
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