Managing the employment tribunal process
Employment tribunal claims may be made where a grievance, disciplinary action or unfair pay allegation cannot be resolved by informal dialogue or formal intervention such as conciliation.
Whatever the cause of the conflict, to avoid intensifying the dispute, it’s essential that employers and HR professionals follow the correct procedures set out by ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service).
Whilst procedures are clearly set out in the ACAS code, appointing a legal advisor to ensure you manage the claim process effectively is a sensible safeguard. 365 Employment Law provides legal advice to employers, HR departments and business managers in Worthing and across Sussex.
We advise organisations on the best strategies to ensure you minimise business and reputational risk through efficient and responsive support and guidance.
When a claim is made against your business
ACAS will inform you if an employee or ex-employee makes a claim against you.
At this stage, ACAS offers to try to resolve the conflict through conciliation. If this is unsuccessful, the claim will continue to the Employment Tribunal.
The Employment Tribunal process
The Employment Tribunal provides an independent hearing for the claim – it is similar to a court process but less complex.
ACAS will send the employer a response pack to which the employer must respond within 28 days. If do not respond in time, the tribunal may decide against you, without the hearing.
Compensation or settlement agreement
You may decide to settle the case at any time by offering to pay compensation to the claimant (aka a settlement agreement).
The Employment Tribunal hearing
There may be a preliminary hearing where all parties speak to the judge to decide on the hearing date and how long it might take.
You will then receive a letter giving you at least 14 days’ notice before the hearing – in which time you must prepare documents (such as pay slips, employment contracts, pension scheme details and notes from meetings) and arrange for witnesses to attend.
You can ask the employee (claimant) for documents that might help you to defend the case, and they can request documents from you as their employer.
Successful defending an Employment Tribunal
If the employee making the claim is deemed to have acted unreasonably, you may request an award for costs by the tribunal.
How your business is affected if you lose an Employment Tribunal case
If you are unsuccessful and the claim is upheld, then depending on the nature of the claim, the employer may be required to:
- Give the claimant their job back
- Pay compensation if you cannot give the claimant their job back
- Pay witness expenses
- Pay damages or loss of earnings
- Pay compensation
There are no limits to the amount of compensation payable in cases of discrimination; the tribunal will generally calculate a sum based on the financial loss suffered as a result of your actions.
A legal adviser at your side
365 Employment Law advises and supports HR professionals and business owners in dealing with disputes at work. We advise on procedures for responding to grievances, including discrimination, victimisation and unfair dismissal claims and can prepare you for and represent you at Employment Tribunals.
For an informal conversation about your needs telephone 01903 863284 or use the contact form to detail your requirements.
Prices for defending unfair dismissal
A guide to costs for defending a claim in employment law cases for unfair or wrongful dismissal
Prices are for guidance and relate to our support in defending a claim for unfair dismissal. If you have any queries, please contact Alex Jones. Alex Jones is an experienced employment law solicitor and director of 365 Employment Law. You can see his profile here.
Price list March 2020
The claim form outlining your case and the nature of the dispute: £750 + VAT
Document that sets out the factual detail of your claim, and the legal basis for it: £750 – £950 + VAT
The response form when a claim has been made against you: £900 – £1,300 + VAT
Attending a telephone Case Management Hearing on your behalf: £850 – £1,300 + VAT
Attending a preliminary hearing on your behalf at the Tribunal: £1,700 – £2,000 + VAT
Dealing with disclosure for Claimant: £850 – 1,200 + VAT
Dealing with Disclosure for Respondent: £950 – £1,400 + VAT
Drafting initial Witness Statement: £1,000 – £1,200 + VAT
Drafting extra Witness statements: £750 – £950 + VAT per statement
Attendance at Employment Tribunal: £275 + VAT per hour
These fees are a guide only and may be higher or lower dependent on complexity.