The purpose of the employment tribunal is for it to make decisions about employment disputes.  Pursuant to employment law/regulations, employees have various employment rights which are protected.  As an employer if you breach these rights, an employee could take you to employment tribunal to seek remedy/compensation.  You can be taken to an employment tribunal for a number of issues such as discrimination at work, unfair dismissal or an issue relating to wages or redundancy payments.  However please note that there are many other types of employment claims which can be brought by an employee.

The employee or job applicant, who can take you to employment tribunal, will not have to pay a fee. This was confirmed in July 2017, when the Supreme Court deemed the fees unlawful. A Trade Union may also make a claim against you.

 

 

Employment Tribunal Services

We understand that dealing with employment disputes can be difficult, so our experts can help you each step of the way. We can offer the following services to put your mind at ease:

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  • Settlement agreements to prevent any progress to tribunals
  • ACAS early conciliation service to help negotiate a solution
  • In-house legal support to prepare for an employment tribunal, including drafting responses
  • Legal expenses insurance to cover the cost of preparation, defence and awards

 

 

 

 

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employment tribunal

Can issues be resolved before going to employment tribunal?

Going to tribunal can be a stressful experience and so it is important to solve any problems before it gets to this stage.  If however, someone does wish to make a claim against you, you will be contacted by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS). ACAS will offer to try and resolve the issues with you and the other party which is known as early conciliation.

Employment Tribunal Statistics

There has been a sharp increase in the number of employment tribunal claims submitted over the past few years. In the year of 2016/2017 the number of single claims was 17,005.

After tribunal fees were abolished in July 2017 the financial year of 2017/2018 saw 27,916 claims and the year of 2018/2019 received 35,429. This shows a 27% increase in the number of single claims.

The total number of employment tribunals was 121,075 made up of single and multiple claims.

 employment tribunal

 

Top 10 reasons for claims – financial year of 2018/2019

Working hours – 49,199
Equal Pay – 26,860
Unauthorised deductions (Formerly Wages Act) – 22,151
Unfair dismissal – 21,251
Breach of contract – 14,022
Sex discrimination – 9336
Disability discrimination – 6821
Redundancy – failure to inform and consult – 5562
Redundancy pay – 5478
Race discrimination - 3522

What happens if issues are not resolved?

With a risk of legal action being commenced by an employee it is important for you to seek advice as soon as possible.  This is because the process a company undertakes to deal with a grievance/dismissal could adversely affect you, if the procedure undertaken is not in accordance with employment regulations and /or the ACAS code of practice.

The tribunal will send you a response pack.

Some of the claims can be technically complex in nature. You will need to prepare carefully appropriate documents as your evidence and call witnesses to attend the hearing. Preparation is key to winning a case.  

Employment tribunal offices are in many parts of the UK and you will be called to the closest one to where you work.

 

Employment tribunal costs

A decision will be made after the tribunal has heard from both parties; you are the ‘respondent’ and the other party is the ‘claimant’.  Once a decision has been reached, if you lose you may have to pay compensation to the claimant, which can run into millions of pounds and there is no cap or limit or reinstate them back into the workplace.

 

  Average Award for 2017/2018 Medium Award for 2017/2018 Highest Award for 2017/2018 Potential Maximum Award
Unfair Dismissal £15,007 £8,015 £415,227 Unlimited
Disability Discrimination £30,698 £16,523 £242,130 Unlimited 
Race Discrimination £24,322

£11,299

£124,979 Unlimited 
Sex Discrimination £13,212 £10,638 £36,616 Unlimited
Sexual Orientation Discrimination £12,550 £12,550 £24,100 Unlimited 
Age Discrimination £6,796 £6,184 £10,432 Unlimited 
Religion or Belief Discrimination £5,074 £5,696 £6,846 Unlimited

Source: gov.uk

If you have concerns regarding employment tribunals please contact one of our HR experts today.

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