Employment disputes can cause vast amounts of disruption for business owners. While the hope is always that disputes can be settled amicably, in some circumstances, this will result in litigation at an Employment Tribunal. When defending a claim at an Employment Tribunal, it is essential to have an expert team of solicitors beside you.
The specialist employment lawyers at Wilford Smith can provide legal advice and support of the highest quality in preparation for an Employment Tribunal, as well as strategic and robust representation at the Tribunal itself. We can assist you throughout every stage of this process, including:
- Advising on internal grievance procedures
- Providing guidance on negotiating the Acas early conciliation process
- Defending a claim at the Employment Tribunal
What is the role of an Employment Tribunal?
Employment Tribunals are responsible for making decisions about employment disputes. Almost all employment-related legal cases are heard in Employment Tribunals. While many different types of claims can be brought, some of the most common are unfair dismissal, discrimination and redundancy claims.
Going to an Employment Tribunal represents the final step in attempts to resolve an employment dispute. In most cases, an employee will be required to contact Acas (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) to initiate early conciliation before a claim can be made to a Tribunal. If the conciliation process fails, then matters may proceed to an Employment Tribunal.
What is early conciliation?
If one of your employees wants to make an Employment Tribunal claim, they will have to complete a form informing Acas that they intend to do so. Acas can then try to help reach an agreement before the employee makes a claim – this process is called early conciliation.
Acas is an organisation funded by the government whose role is to help with this process in employment disputes. Both parties can communicate through Acas to tell the other what they want. If early conciliation does not result in an agreement being reached, your employee can choose to make a claim to an Employment Tribunal if they wish.
What happens if the claim goes to an Employment Tribunal?
The Tribunal will notify you of the claim and ask you to submit a response, and you will be provided with guidance and time frames for exchanging evidence, including witness statements. At the hearing, you will be allowed to cross-examine the evidence provided by your employee and any witnesses. Depending on the complexity of the case, a judgement may be given on the day of the Tribunal or in the following weeks.
Contact our Employment Tribunal Solicitors
Our employment solicitors will work on your behalf to help you protect your position at an Employment Tribunal. We understand how damaging employment claims can be for a business – as well as being time-consuming, and potentially costly, the reputation harm that can result can have an enormous impact. If you find yourself a party to an employment dispute, speak with one of our solicitors to discuss your case immediately.
Call our employment lawyers today on 01709 828 044 or complete our online contact form.