What is the Employment Tribunal?
Employment Tribunals are responsible for hearing claims from individuals who think an employer or potential employer has treated them unlawfully. Unlawful treatment claims can arise from unfair dismissal, discrimination and unfair deductions from pay, to name just a few. The Employment Tribunals are an independent body who make decisions in legal disputes around employment law.
Making a claim to the Employment Tribunal
If an employee wishes to make a claim following a dismissal or redundancy, they have up to three months from the date their employment contract is terminated to make an application to the Employment Tribunal. There are circumstances which can mean this time limit can be extended and this is reviewed on a case by case basis.
Can the amount of Compensation awarded be reduced?
If the Tribunal deems that there is a case for compensation to be awarded, the amount of compensation can be reduced if the employee has failed to follow their employer’s procedures or tried to resolve the issue with the employer in the first instance.
What information does an Employer receive if a claim is made against them?
The Employment Tribunal will send the employer (the Respondent) a copy of the claim made by the employee (the Claimant). The employer is then obliged to complete the appropriate Employment Tribunal forms stating whether they wish to contest the claim and why. The respondent usually has to reply to the claim in writing within 28 days. Failure to reply means the tribunal will decide on what happens and the employee may not be required to go to a hearing.
Before the case is heard by the Employment Tribunal, ACAS will try to settle the case by conciliation first. ACAS settlements often include a mutually agreed amount of compensation.
Employment Tribunal Hearings first must establish the circumstances surrounding the claim in order for them to decide whether or not the decision made by the employer was fair and that all reasonable steps were taken prior to any decisions being made. The Employment Tribunal then has to consider whether the employer acted reasonably. However, in certain cases, e.g. constructive unfair dismissal, it is for the employee to prove that the employer acted unreasonably.
Having an employment claim made against you, can be difficult. You may be aware that such a claim is going to be made but in some cases it may be a complete surprise. At Lawson-West we recommend seeking legal advice should you have a claim made against you to ensure you follow the correct procedures and do not miss anything that is crucial in the process. They can be very costly and need to be approached with care and attention.
Our employment team is able to provide the appropriate advice and guidance in relation to Employment Tribunals. They offer no-obligation initial appointments and can meet you at any of our office locations in Market Harborough, Leicester or Wigston. You can call the team directly via 0116 212 1000, alternatively complete our online contact form and we will get in touch with you.