Employment Tribunals are responsible for making decisions in legal disputes in the area of employment law, including in cases of unfair dismissal and discrimination. For employers, employment disputes often demand a significant amount of time, cost, and resources and, depending on the outcome, can lead to reputational harm. In many cases, by taking proactive action or by considering other approaches, such as alternative dispute resolution, it may be possible to avoid a claim being filed with an employment tribunal. 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:
Most importantly, our employment Solicitors will handle your Employment Tribunal matter on your behalf, allowing you to focus on the day-to-day running of your business with the knowledge that your case has the best possible chance of a successful outcome. When you first engage our services, we will review the claim in terms of its validity and chance of a successful outcome, the likely costs of the claim, and recommend a course of action.
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.
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.
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. The notice will also explain if any part of the claim has been rejected and what may happen if a response is not entered within the time frame. Once you have sent your response, the tribunal will make a decision as to how to handle the case; this may include the following:
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.
Wilford Smith was founded over 30 years ago and is now considered one of the UK’s most prestigious law firms, has developed a richly deserved reputation for excellence in our core areas of law, including employment and HR. We are more than just a law firm; we are your trusted legal advisor and will be there at every step of your commercial journey. You are never alone. The advice, support, and representation we provide to your business will be tailored to your needs and specific to your industry sector. You can be assured that with our team managing your employment law matter, exceptional outcomes are the norm.
Our employment law teams are based in Sheffield and advise and represent clients throughout England and Wales. Contact us today on 0808 168 5813 to find out how we can help with matters concerning Employment Tribunal representation.
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