Employment Tribunals are responsible for hearing and ruling on claims from employees who think their current, potential or ex-employer hasn't treated them within the rules of Employment Law.
The Employment Tribunal Services is an independent public tribunal which makes legally binding decisions in legal disputes around employment law.
Dealing with Employment Tribunal cases can take significant time, be highly complex, confusing and ultimately, if the judgment is given in the employee's favour, this can result in financial and reputational damage to the Employer. Even if the case is found in favour of the employer, the time lost and damage caused to the business can be lasting.
Having Professional Employment advice and help during each stage of a Tribunal could be very important in protecting your business.
The first you're likely to hear about an Employment Tribunal is either when you receive a contact from an ACAS Early Conciliator or when you receive a Form ET1 from the Employment Tribunal informing you that a claim has been issued against your business.
To protect your business from potential large awards and reputation damage you;
- need to act quickly
- should read carefully the allegations being raised
- obtain information in order to gather together your version of what happened
- consider obtaining specialist legal advice
- prepare and return your defence within 28 days of the date given in the ET1 form.
Representing you at Employment Tribunals and Employment Appeal Tribunals
Our goal is to help you avoid a costly visit to the Employment Tribunal. However, from time to time, clients do need us to represent them at a tribunal hearing. To find out how a tribunal works, click here to watch our mock tribunal video: it helps employers understand what can happen on the day.
Following issuing a defence to the claim, if the matter is one of unfair dismissal and/or constructive unfair dismissal, unlawful deduction from wages, breach of contract or wrongful dismissal, then the Tribunal may decide to list the hearing on the matter and give Case Management Orders, being dates that documents relevant to the matter should be disclosed, dates for witness statements to be prepared and exchanged and a list of issues for the Tribunal to consider at the substantive hearing prepared. If on the other hand the claims alleged are involving discrimination or whistle-blowing, then the norm is once a response has been issued to the Tribunal, the Tribunal will list a preliminary hearing where the parties along with the Judge will work through the issues to be addressed and decided upon by the Tribunal at a substantive hearing.
Employment Tribunals were set up originally for workers and employees to have their say and raise complaints before a Tribunal and were originally relatively informal, however, due to the appeal level case law, the statutory legislation and the breadth of employment legal claims that can now be issued at a Tribunal, the process and procedure has become more and more complex for businesses and Claimants alike to deal with.
Pearson Solicitors have significant experience in;
- Helping Employers avoid having a claim issued against them in the first place - See our Employment Protect or In-House Services
And if a claim is issued we have significant experience working with you through every step of the Employment Tribunal process, from helping you draft your defence to represent your business at the Tribunal.
We have the necessary experience and excellent success rates of settling and defending Employment Tribunal claims. Email us or call us directly to discuss how we can help you.
Tribunal compensation limits
The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal increased in April 2019 from £83,682 to £86,444, or 52 weeks salary - whichever is the lower. This is in addition to an increase in the basic award which can be ordered by the Tribunal of up to a maximum of £15,750. The maximum amount of one week’s pay which is used to calculate statutory redundancy payments and various other awards including the basic and additional awards for unfair dismissal also rises from £508 to £525.
Further Information regarding Employment Tribunals
- What happens at an Employment Tribunal (via YouTube)
- Tribunal fees held to be unlawful by the Supreme Court (26 July 2017)
- Higher fees reduce access to Employment Tribunals (24 April 2017)