Ah, you may have thought that this month would have an employment law spin on the election. That content is for seminar attendees only I’m afraid! Instead we thought we would highlight something that often comes up when preparing clients for Tribunal hearings.
The most stressful thing for any witness, whether employee or employer, is giving evidence on the witness stand. Scrutiny from a judge and advocate coupled with natural anxiety about appearing in an unfamiliar environment will leave even the most belligerent witnesses a bit nervous.
Our stock advice for giving evidence as follows:
- Tell the truth!
- Answer the question you are asked
- Don’t become aggressive or rude
- Don’t answer a question unless you understand it
- Have open body language and make good eye contact
- Do not ramble
In light of the above, it is fairly certain that neither Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn would make good witnesses! Both leaders struggled to answer the question put to them, particularly Mr Johnson who was at pains to shoe-horn Labour’s stance on Brexit into every answer he gave.
In terms of aggression and manners, political discourse has somewhat descended nationwide since 2016 but this election is not doing much to raise the bar and set an example of how not to sling mud. Rambling was also an issue for both leaders particularly when they were thrown a difficult question.
In terms of understanding questions, an answer of the royal family is above reproach is never a good idea when that same week Prince Andrew gives an interview that would suggest he is worthy of reproach and then some for his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.
Finally in terms of telling the truth, there is plenty to examine here. Renaming a political body as a fact checker on social media does not lend itself to the truth. Neither do false promises on hospitals and police officer numbers. Corbyn avoiding an answer on the second referendum does not come across as particularly truthful either.
Given the above it does not seem either would make a particularly good witness at tribunal. Ladies and gentleman, I give you the potential Prime ministers for the next five years!