employment tribunal claims

You don’t have to stand in a tribunal alone. We’re here to support you and your business.

What is an employment tribunal?

Employment tribunals deal with claims brought against employers by employees.

They help to resolve disputes that arise and are designed to be less formal than civil courts, however, like a court, employment tribunals cannot give out legal advice and most hearings are open to the public and evidence is given under oath.

As employment tribunals are governed by their own rules and procedures, it can be difficult to navigate through it without legal assistance.

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What claims can be brought in the employment tribunal?

Types of employment tribunal claims include:

  1. Unfair or wrongful dismissal

  2. Deduction from wages

  3. Whistleblowing

  4. Discrimination

  5. Equal pay

Employment tribunal claims process

The employment tribunal claims process can be divided into four main stages.

  1. Conciliation

    Before an employment tribunal claim can be lodged, Acas needs to be notified first.

    An Acas conciliator will try to attempt to help both parties resolve their differences, whilst being completely impartial and independent. This is called the 'early conciliation period' which can last up to six weeks and if matters can be resolved, it is less stressful, cheaper, and faster.

  2. Preparation

    To prepare for a full hearing, both parties need to exchange lists and copies of all documents which are relevant to the claim. This could include contracts of employment, letters, or emails.

    The documents have to be agreed on both sides and will be presented in one 'bundle' for the hearing.

    As well as this, witness statements need to be written in numbered paragraphs and prepared for the hearing. A preliminary hearing may be required to set out dates for dealing with these matters, or to resolve any initial issues relating to the claim.

  3. The hearing

    On the day of the hearing, all parties, and witnesses must attend the tribunal on time and the employment judge will set out the key issues.

    Each witness will be asked to take an oath and will be asked questions from both sides and the judge regarding their witness statement. Once all witnesses have given evidence, the representatives of both sides will sum up their case and the tribunal will adjourn to make a decision.

  4. Outcome

    The decision (called a 'judgement') is not always given on the day of the hearing, sometimes it can take around 27 weeks from making a claim to getting a decision. The judgement will be made public.

    If the tribunal reaches a decision in favour of the claimant, the tribunal can award compensation or payment of wages due to the employee. Alternatively, they can offer reinstatement (meaning the employee gets their job back) or re-engagement (where the employee returns to the organisation in a new role). However, both of these are rare.

    The amount of compensation awarded to the employee can be capped in certain claims, and is usually based on the financial loss they have suffered. However, an employer can ask the tribunal to reconsider the decision if they lose the case and this must be done within 14 days of getting the decision.

How our employment tribunal solicitors can help

If an employee has raised an issue or made an employment tribunal claim against you, it is essential to seek expert advice as early as possible from our professional employment law solicitors to protect your business and reputation.

Here at Wilkin Chapman, we have provided employment advice to businesses of all sizes across a range of industries on defending employment tribunal claims.

What we can do for you

We work with employers to guide them through the process and offer practical and robust support at every stage of an employment tribunal claim. Our team of employment tribunal solicitors recognise that each case is unique, and we ensure to provide advice based on your individual circumstances.

Our employment tribunal solicitors can help with a range of claims, including:

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We’re always there for you. Why not call us today for an informal chat about your situation?

Employment tribunal FAQs

We help clients nip problems in the bud and resolve their employment issues every day.

Here are the most common questions we receive in regard to employment tribunal claims.

  1. Is the tribunal process confidential?

    No, the principle of open justice applies. This means that in the vast majority of cases the decisions of the tribunal will be made public, and the hearings are also open to the public.

  2. How long does the employment tribunal claim process take?

    This will depend on the nature of the claim and the area of the country in which the claim is brought, as each tribunal centre’s availability to hear a claim will vary.

    Generally, it will take 9 to 12 months for a claim to reach a final hearing, however, this can be longer for more complex cases or in busy areas of the country.

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  3. Once we have gone through Acas Early Conciliation, can we still settle a claim?

    Yes, claims can be settled at any point during the claim process, even on the day of the final hearing itself.

    Acas have an ongoing duty to assist in this process and each claim will be allocated an Acas case officer to try and help with these discussions. The tribunal also encourages judicial mediation as part of the case management process, but this is voluntary for both sides.

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  4. Can I recover legal costs incurred in defending an employment tribunal claim?

    Unlike in civil proceedings, the general position in the employment tribunal is that each side bears its own costs, win or lose.

    You will therefore only be able to recoup your outlay for legal fees in exceptional circumstances, such as where the claimant had no reasonable prospects of success in bringing their claim or if you can demonstrate that the claim was brought vexatiously.

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Submit an enquiry and one of our employment tribunal solicitors will be in touch as soon as possible to discuss your needs.

Or call the employment law team on 01522 515987

Partner & Head of Employment Oliver Tasker 01522 515987 Lincoln
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