What is it?
In a separate section of the blue book, complete and keep a communication log between yourself and your employer during your employment – look at past emails if you have them, your mobile phone log, letters, things that happened or things that were said etc. – although I just stuck to things that I could prove, so most of that was written – emails. Date and time each entry. Try to contain each entry on one line.
What can it do for me?
The reason for this, is that when you are finally in court you may have 3 or 4 pages of things like this in the bundle (a bundle is all the documents represented by you and your employer to the courts in defense of your case). One liners are easier to read and easier to search for, if you are looking for a keyword or phrase within this as the bundle can be 100 hundred pages or more.
12/05/13 – Mon 09.38am – email received TM – notice of discilplinary
13/05/13 – Tue 13.24pm – email sent to TM – reply to disciplinary
Then I did the same for my employers legal representation.
I conducted everything more or less by email – for the simple reason that I had a record of what was said, hence proof which I could access and reproduce to the courts easily and clearly. Also I found, when you communicate in a written form, you think more about what you are saying and often reduce / limit the amount of emotion. This is important, as when we get emotional, things start to go pear shaped – know what I mean!
Judges may ask you what advice you took and when, or when you spoke to your employer about X and when did they respond. So keep it clear, concise and correct – don’t make things up, don’t think that isn’t relevant – everything is relevant at this time. You can streamline later. If you are really stuck, try to record things in date order, this will help to jog your memory as well as identifying things that you may of overlooked. Sometimes arranging all the information like this in date order, can help reveal a clearer picture; a sequence of events can emerge and patterns can be identified.
Behaviour – yours and theirs
Understanding and recognising how the respondent behaves, thinks and communicates I found helped me a lot. It gave be reassurance in my thoughts, that I wasn’t totally bonkers for taking my employer to court. And it reinstored my faith and belief in me, which led to building a more confident me. This is important as after I lost my job, I had lost confidence in me and with that, my strength. I had no one that I could talk to about this, I knew if I did, I could put my entire case at risk. Being a single mum, I knew that I couldn’t afford emotionally or financially to loose my strength, my children need me.
Equally knowing the patterns or behaviours of your respondent will help you when it comes to cross examination. But more about that later.