Arbitration 101: Here's what you need to know about presenting evidence and questioning witnesses
When an arbitration hearing gets underway, one of the things you must do is present evidence and question witnesses.
This is crucial because the Commissioner can only make a decision based on facts. So this is your chance to sway him and increase the odds of winning your case.
But where do you start with this mammoth task?
Keep reading as we tell you everything you need to know about presenting evidence and questioning witnesses at arbitration.
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Everything you need to know about presenting evidence and questioning witnesses at arbitration
You must decide the order in which you present your evidence and how you'll present your case before the arbitration hearing
takes place. You need to act as follows:
You must prove the offence your employee committed was illegal. You can do this by referring to the relevant section in your disciplinary code and procedures.
You must prove your employee was guilty of the offence.
You must present evidence that your employee was aware the offence was illegal. You can do this by presenting a document on which he acknowledged receipt of a copy of the disciplinary code and procedures. Or by saying that your disciplinary code is clearly visible in your workplace and – if necessary – have one of your witnesses testify to this fact.
Show in evidence that the rule broken was a reasonable one.
You must present evidence to show your company suffered harm (if that's the case) or, if the offence were to be repeated, your company would sustain damage or harm. This is important in supporting your contention that the dismissal was substantively fair (i.e. effected for a fair reason.)
Now that you know about presenting evidence, take a look at how to question witnesses
When questioning your witnesses, you must lead the questions and not lead the witness.
Leading the witness is basically putting words in his mouth to advance your agenda. You must never do this, it's illegal.
Check out the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service
to discover examples of leading the question and leading the witness.
That's all there is to presenting evidence and questioning witnesses at an arbitration hearing. Make sure you do this right to increase your chances of success.