MORE than 160 human resources professionals got an insight into employment law at a seminar and mock tribunal event at the BIC.

The free event was organised by Poole-based recruitment agency Jigsaw Specialist Recruitment, in partnership with London firm Ignition Law.

Among those attending were employees from RNLI, Bournemouth University, Lush, BH Live and Bournemouth Council.

After a refresher seminar on tribunal law came a one-and-a-half hour ‘live tribunal,’ based on a claim of unfair dismissal and age discrimination.

Jigsaw directors Natalie and Robin Brian gamely played the parts of the plaintiff Mrs Annie Younger, and the respondent, her former manager Mr Don Meddling, while lawyers from Ignition played the parts of the presiding judge and legal representatives.

A ‘badly judged’ birthday card which read “In dog years you’re dead”, and some poorly worded emails suggesting Mrs Younger was ‘past it’ were among the ‘evidence’ laid out before the room, with both sides making a strong case before the ‘judge’ announced his decision.

Jigsaw director Robin Brian said: “Facing an employment tribunal can be a daunting prospect for all involved. The stakes are high and, unless you have experience, the process of being examined and cross-examined, presenting a case, and supplying evidence to a judge and panel can feel overwhelming.

“This was an opportunity for HR professionals to see first-hand how the procedure works, from what happens and who speaks when, to how best to present your case, and any potential problems that might arise - ideal preparation, without having to go through it for real.”

Jigsaw director Natalie Brian said: “We work with a lot of HR professionals and we thought and event like this might be useful to them, but it proved far more popular than we expected, with close to 170 people attending on the day. We’ve had fantastic feedback, and we’re already planning our next event.”

Attendee Luke Stace from Newsquest said: “It was a fantastic way to get an insight into what a tribunal looks like and feels like. You can spend a lot of time reading about employment law – but to see some the issues acted out in front of you really brought it to life.”