Employment Tribunal Representation
Our employment lawyers are experts on Employment Tribunal claims at all stages of the litigation process from preparing the claim to carrying out advocacy on your behalf at a tribunal hearing.
In each case we will assess the risks and provide an expert assessment of the likely outcome of the litigation. Often claims settle and we can advise you as to the appropriate settlement value of any given claim. At tribunal hearings we aim to (and in most cases do) achieve a successful outcome for our clients.
Paying for an Employment Tribunal Claim
We may be able to act for you under various funding arrangements depending on the circumstances including privately paying, through legal expenses insurance or under a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement. From the outset and throughout the matter we will give you an accurate estimate of the costs and risks of the litigation.
The Employment Tribunal Process
Throughout an Employment Tribunal claim we will keep you informed of what is happening and react quickly to any developments.
A typical Employment Tribunal case may include the following stages:
- Pre-claim conciliation
- Lodging of the Claim and Response
- Preliminary Hearing
- Issue of case management directions
- Judicial Mediation
- Exchange of witness statements
- Full Hearing
- Remedies Hearing (if the Claim succeeds and remedy is not dealt with at the Full Hearing)
From May 2014 pre-claim conciliation (PCC) through ACAS is now mandatory before a claim can be lodged with the Employment Tribunal. As part of this process you must complete a simple form with you and your employer’s contact details. On receipt an ACAS case worker will contact the parties to see if they wish to take part in conciliation to resolve the matter.
Assuming the matter is not settled through PCC you will be able to proceed with lodging the claim with the Employment Tribunal by paying the appropriate fee (the initial issue fee for an unfair dismissal claim is £250 with a further hearing fee of £950 payable shortly before the full hearing of the case). A copy of the claim will be sent to the employer who has 28 days to lodge its Response.
Depending on the type and complexity of the claims(s) brought, the Employment Tribunal may arrange a preliminary hearing to understand the issues raised in the claim(s) and to give directions for the management of the case. Preliminary Hearings may be conducted at the Employment Tribunal venue with the parties present or, sometimes, by way of a telephone conference call between an Employment Judge and the parties or their representatives. In more straightforward cases standard case management directions may be issued by post to the parties without a Preliminary Hearing.
Standard case management directions will require the parties to disclose all documents that are relevant to the claim(s) and to agree a bundle containing all the relevant documents for use at the Full Hearing of the case. The parties will also have to prepare and exchange witness statements containing the evidence of their respective witnesses who will appear at the Full Hearing.
The duration of the Full Hearing will depend on the type and complexity of the claims(s) brought. In an ordinary unfair dismissal case the Full Hearing is typically between 1 – 3 days. If you are successful then the issue of remedy (in unfair dismissal cases this includes reinstatement, reengagement or compensation) may be dealt with at the Full Hearing or, if there is insufficient time, at a later Remedies Hearing.
Employment Tribunal claims are often settled and this may occur at any stage including before or during a Full Hearing or after the Tribunal has given a judgment on liability but not yet dealt with remedy and has listed the matter for a Remedies Hearing. Settlement is normally done via ACAS or by using a Settlement Agreement.
More from the Downs Blog
In April of each year, the Government increases statutory payments that are payable to workers and employees.
Under new government guidance, you should work from home if you can effectively do so. However, some employers may ask their employees to return to work whilst restrictions are in place - particularly if it is not reasonable to carry out that work at home. For those who are concerned about health problems, or juggling childcare, where do you stand in the eyes of the law?
The third lockdown in England legally came into force on 6 January 2021. How long it will last is uncertain. At least until mid-February and possibly until late March. Vaccination provides a route out of the pandemic, but businesses need to survive this final and possibly longest of the lockdowns.
During these uncertain times, it is good to know you can count on us.
Even after the recent Government announcement of another national lockdown we remain open for business and are here to help you.
On Thursday 5 November 2020, the Chancellor announced that the furlough scheme is to be extended until the end of March 2021. During this period you will be able to claim up to 80% of an Employees salary up to a cap of £2500.
The Chancellor announced over the weekend that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) that was due to end on 31st October will be extended until 2nd December. The level of support available under the extended scheme will mirror that of what was available under the CJRS in August, with the Government paying 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500.
The Chancellor announced on Thursday 22 October that the Government contribution to employers’ wage costs under the Job Support Scheme (JSS) will be increased. Employers will be expected to pay 5% of the cost of unworked hours instead of the 33% originally announced.
Back in the summer the Chancellor announced that employers could receive a one-off payment of £1,000 for every employee who had previously been furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme provided they remained continuously employed to the end of January 2021. Businesses will be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus from 15 February 2021 and the Government has stated that further guidance will be provided by the end of January 2021.
With new government guidance on Covid coming into force today and the current furlough scheme coming to an end next month, as expected, the Chancellor has today announced a new scheme to help businesses.
As Covid-19 cases continue to climb, the UK faces ever tougher restrictions. But, with the furlough scheme winding down, what rights do employers and employees have when returning to work?
Barclays Bank has withdrawn a system that monitored employees’ computers, tracking individual working patterns and how much time each day was spent on breaks. Details of the pilot project came to light after a Barclays whistle blower reported it to a newspaper.
From 6 April 2020 there will be changes to the minimum written terms that must be provided to employees AND the timing of when these terms must be provided to them. These terms are known as Section 1 statements, referring to Section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA).
Downs Solicitors is pleased to play a small part in helping to raise awareness of a new and important piece of employment law that is coming into force in April 2020. The Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Regulations will be known as Jack’s Law. This is in memory of Jack Herd who died in 2010 and whose mother, Lucy, has campaigned tirelessly ever since for mandatory leave for grieving parents.
One of the big focuses in recent years has been on flexible working and how it has changed the concept of a “normal” working day. From challenging the norms of 9-5 working to commuting time counting as working time, there’s no doubt that the new decade could bring a new shape of working – but what does that mean for business leaders and their HR teams?
Jordi Casamitjana was dismissed in 2018 by The League Against Cruel sports for gross misconduct. Mr Casamitjana, an ethical vegan, claims that his dismissal came after telling colleagues that their employer’s pension fund was being invested in companies involved in animal testing. His solicitors claimed that the decision to dismiss was made because of his beliefs around ethical veganism.
Improving the conversation about the menopause at work is important for both workers and employers. For the worker experiencing symptoms, the onset of the menopause can be a challenging time and one that is a sensitive and personal matter. For an employer, menopause is a health and well-being concern for their workers and one that needs managing sensitively.
The Government has announced plans to scrap the rises in probate fees, which will no doubt be welcome news to many bereaved families.
Not many people relish the idea of writing down wishes relating to their death, however, according to research by Royal London, more than half of us in the UK still don’t have one – and 5.4 million don’t even know how to get one.
Whilst many see flexible working as an opportunity to juggle a work life balance more successfully, a lot of work needs to be done around overall wellbeing for the employee – and ways in which the employer can help facilitate that.
No sooner have we published a blog about British Airways’ largest GDPR fine on record, we find another story in the news.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), stress, depression and anxiety were the main factors for time off work in 2017/18, equating to 15.4 million working days lost.
People are living longer and therefore, they are working longer. According to the latest data from the ONS, there has been a rise in the number of over-50s in the workplace due to changes in the state pension age and shortfalls in pension payments.
This week, 13 - 19 May 2019, is Mental Health Awareness Week. So, what better time to talk about mental health within the workplace.
Self-employment is on the rise with more people “going it alone” than ever before. With a rise in easy-to-use, on the go technology more accessible, it’s hardly surprising that more people are opting for self-employment to cater to more adaptive lifestyles. But, what sort of impact is it having in the wider professional environment?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is nearly one year old, having come into effect on May 25th 2018. Many businesses in the UK and abroad have made amendments to elements of their practices to ensure GDPR compliance. As with any substantial change, there has been a steep learning curve and inevitable growing pains. With the one year mark fast approaching it seems an appropriate time to look at the impact and success, if any, of GDPR.
When do you have a “right” to cancel your contract – and does that right to do so actually exist?
Shared parental leave was introduced in 2015 as a way of redressing the balance between maternity and paternity leave. The purpose was to allow mothers to transfer all or part of their maternity leave to the father, allowing them to return to work.
None of us like to think about getting ill, but if you run a business, it can be helpful to identify the leading causes and reasons for sickness in order to effectively manage workflow.
As if Ms Dolly Parton’s appearance at the recent Grammy Awards wasn’t enough, her new Netflix series beginning in 2019 will soon have reminisces tapping their feet to some of her major hit records. Perhaps working “9-5” is one that resonates most – and what a way to make a living indeed. Since writing her hit, the workplace has changed considerably and it is interesting to see how employers and employees alike are adapting to that change.
An up-to-date will written by a solicitor is the best way to ensure your wishes will be respected. It allows you to provide for your family and friends and leave a gift to your chosen charities too. It is also a chance to think about updating your will if you have not done so in a while.
Valentine’s Day has gone for another year, but it got us thinking about the consequences of romance in the workplace, for both employees and employer.
GDPR seems to be the word of the year, but as many businesses still try to get to grips with it, the Court of Appeal have issued details surrounding a case of data protection. Is an employer responsible if an employee deliberately breaches a data protection law?
The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force on 25 May this year. It, together with the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018), replaced existing laws in the UK relating to data protection and became an obligatory requirement across the whole of the European Union. Even though this had been bubbling away in the news for several months, there were concerns that businesses remained relatively in the dark about what they had to do. In the end, the majority of cases saw a last-minute scramble to implement the new regulation – and it appears to be still on-going.
To follow up on a couple of recent news stories relating to flexible work, for employers thinking of adopting change, you will also need to know how to effectively manage a more flexible workforce.
Despite Dolly Parton's smash hit, it seems that just 6% of working people are sticking to the traditional 9-5 shift pattern, according to a recent survey by YouGov.
Read articles from Downslaw
The Government’s white paper on post-Brexit immigration policy is expected in October. Will the future immigration rules reflect the self-employment and flexible working that are now intrinsic to the UK labour force?
The Brexit White Paper of 12 July 2018 suggests what the future of skilled EU migrants in the UK might look like, but the wording is vague. In this analysis for Thomson Reuters, Downs Head of Immigration Samar Shams tries to decode the government’s plans for skilled migration from the EU.
In this month’s Employment Law Journal, Downs’s Head of Immigration Samar Shams offers practical advice on GDPR compliance. The analysis covers immigration contexts including the resident labour market test and visa applications as well as right to work checks. The article is designed to support employers in this developing area of compliance.
As the temperatures set to reach record levels in the UK over the next week or so, there’s no doubt that many of us will be enjoying the great outdoors. But, what about those long office hours in stuffy, windowless buildings? Are employees entitled to go home if it is too hot? Do they have a “right” to air conditioning, for example?
The Home Office published a Statement of Intent on 21 June 2018 setting out the application processes EU nationals and their family members will have to undertake to stay in the UK beyond the post-Brexit transition period. The Statement does not indicate when exactly the application process will open, stating only ‘late 2018’. The settlement scheme will be introduced in phases, and will open fully from 30 March 2019. Subject to the outcome of ongoing negotiations, the UK proposes to extend the settlement scheme to EEA and Swiss citizens.
There are just a few days to go before the GDPR legislation will come into force, but according to a recent poll, 89% of organisations in the UK remain “confused” by GDPR. Organisations will need to act fast if they have not already made progress with the new legislation – here are a few tips from us to help you along the way.
Tuesday 10th April represents National Equal Pay Day – and what better time to be talking about it than now? With the first phases of Gender Pay Gap reporting now in the news, the spotlight is firmly on businesses to account for their pay data.
With less than two months to go until the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force, are you and your business ready for the new requirements?
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has published a report, Turning the tables: ending sexual harassment at work report recommending steps to strengthen protection for victims of sexual harassment, promoting transparency and placing a legal duty on employers to take effective steps to prevent sexual harassment. The report has also recommended an increase in compensation levels for victims where this duty has been breached.
Organisations that have not yet published their gender pay gap information by the deadline next week could face unlimited fines.
Author: Matthew Kilgannon
The Employment Tribunal (ET) is not known for making cost orders, in fact they are quite rare.
Specialist employment law Partner, Matthew Kilgannon, discusses last month’s first Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision on parity of terms for Agency workers.
Author: Matthew Kilgannon
Following the decision to remove fees in the Employment Tribunal (and our earlier article on the subject – available here), the Government has now launched the opening wave of its refund scheme.
Author: Nicola O'Dwyer
With an increase in the number of older women within the workplace, the menopause appears to becoming less of a taboo subject. This has also been assisted by the exposure that has been given to the subject of the menopause in the media.