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In most cases, Employment Tribunal litigation is the last resort. The majority of employment disputes can be dealt with through negotiation and compromise. Even cases involving wrongful dismissal or constructive dismissal can often be dealt with without the need for litigation.
However, when one or both sides are entrenched and unwilling to settle, it is necessary to take a case before the Employment Tribunal. Glanvilles solicitors have extensive experience dealing with employment law litigation in the Employment Tribunal. We work with both employer and employees, ensuring that our clients have a full case plan from the outset, that costs are agreed beforehand.
Employees have three months from the effective date of termination to lodge a claim in the Employment Tribunal for claims of unfair dismissal and contractual claims. Employees also have three months from the date of a discriminatory act to make a claim.
Compensation for unfair dismissal in the Employment Tribunal is based on loss of earnings and is currently capped at £74,200, the maximum awards for a basic award is £13,500. For claims of discrimination and whistle blowing, compensation is potentially unlimited.
Awards for discrimination are generally include:
Contractual claims are limited to £25,000 but this cap does not apply to claims for wages as the Employment Tribunal has sole jurisdiction to deal with wages disputes.
In order to have a claim for unfair or constructive dismissal, the employee will generally have to have at least two years’ service (for employees employed after 6th April 2012). There is no qualification period for claims of discrimination or any other claims arising from the employment contract, such as wages.
As an employer you may be taken to an employment tribunal for many reasons, for instance…
As this process may result in having to pay a compensatory award, seeking legal advice is vital. A solicitor can advise you on the strength of your case and whether you should settle in Early Conciliation.
If someone does want to make a claim against you will be contacted by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. You can respond to the claim by filling out the response pack provided, completing the response form online, or downloading and returning a copy.
It is also important to note that if you receive a claim against you must respond in 28 days or a decision will be made regarding the dispute without hearing your side.
In the event that you, as the employee, believe you have been treated unfairly, whether this is due to being unfairly dismissed, workplace discrimination, etc, you can take it to an Employment Tribunal to make a claim.
To ensure a successful claim it’s necessary to have expert legal advice on your side. Glanville’s solicitors can ensure that you have the best possible chance of securing your claim.
A solicitor can also help you to contact the Acas, work towards a settlement, and if necessary, manage the tribunal hearing.
It is very common for employment tribunal litigation cases to be settled before going to court. An employer is often advised to settle disputes like this out of court in order to minimise legal costs.
Because of this, unless the case against the employee is particularly strong, a huge percentage of employers chose to settle out of court.
An employment tribunal can be used to take an employer to court, make a claim against a union, handle disputes surrounding things like discrimination and much more. This process can be broken down into several basic stages:
After a dismissal or dispute an employee only has a short amount of time in which to make a claim, three months to be specific. During this time the employee will seek legal assistance, and if they decide to make the claim, contact the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).
In this stage, the employee must have shown that they attempted to settle the dispute with the employer. In some instances, an agreement can be reached at this time and no further action will need to be taken.
Attempting to settle the matter, whether a settlement is reached or not, will allow the employee to enter Early Conciliation. At this point the time limit for the claim is paused until an arrangement is made or the employee gains an Early Conciliation Certificate.
After obtaining an Early Conciliation Certificate, an employee can fill in the appropriate form needed to make the claim. The employer will then be required to acknowledge this with a response to the claim against them.
It’s important for both parties to prepare for the tribunal hearing. This includes preparing documentation, witness statements, and additional evidence to either support or deny the claim.
During the hearing, the Judge will consider the evidence provided on both sides. A decision will them be made and the case will be either won or lost.
If the employee or employer is unhappy with the Judge’s decision, they may make an appeal. This may include requesting the case is taken to the Employment Appeal Tribunal.
The first thing that needs to be done when making a claim to the employment tribunal is to contact the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas). This is essential whether you are able to come to an agreement with the employer/employee, or require an Early Conciliation Certificate.
No. Both the word of the employee and the employer will be considered within employment tribunals. This is done by an impartial Judge who, if a settlement can’t be reached, will examine the evidence, documentation, and witness statements of both parties before making a decision.
The employment tribunal is also completely independent of the government and will only take into account the parties involved in the dispute.
The length of time the employment tribunal takes will depend on a number of things. These include the number of claims at that time and the complexity of the case. However, the average employment tribunal will take between 6 to 12 months to complete.
Losing an employment tribunal will often mean that you are required to fulfil certain orders. For instance, if a dismissal was considered unfair, you may be required to rehire them pay the employee compensation.
Additionally, you may be required to pay part of the other party’s legal fees. These costs can become quite high, which is why acquiring a settlement in the Early Conciliation is heavily encouraged.