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Employment Tribunal Solicitors

Employment Tribunals

The prospect of starting and then pursuing a claim in the Employment Tribunal may be a daunting one as hopefully it is an experience most people will not have needed to become familiar with. The process and particularly the hearing are slightly less formal than a court but there are still procedures to follow.

Am I eligble for no win no fee?

If you have been made redundant or have experienced any other issues with your employment you might have a case. If we think that your claim has prospects of success and you have no other funding arrangements available to you we may be able to help you on a no-win, no-fee basis.

Where do I start?

The first thing to do is make sure that the time limit for bringing a claim has not passed. The general rule for claims in the Employment Tribunal is that you must have submitted your claim within 3 months less one day of the event/incident that you are complaining of. So for example if you are dismissed or are discriminated against on 24th June then you would need to have ensured that you have submitted your claim by no later than 23rd September.

How do I submit my claim? 

From 6th April 2014 the initial steps for making a claim in the Employment Tribunal have changed. Now you have to register your claim with ACAS before you are able to issue a claim to the Employment Tribunal. You must do this within the 3 month time limit referred to above. Once you have done this ACAS will contact your (former) employer to discuss whether there is any prospect of trying to resolve your complaint without the need to submit a claim to the Employment Tribunal. The time period for ACAS to assist with trying to resolve the matter will be 1 month which effectively “stops the clock” on your limitation period. If you successfully agree to settle your claim then that will be the end of the matter. If, however, you are not able to agree on a solution, or your employer does not want to enter into discussions about trying to resolve your complaint, then ACAS will issue you with a certificate to confirm that you have registered your claim with them and you will have at least 1 month from ACAS issuing your certificate to submit your claim.

 Once the ACAS Early Conciliation Period has come to an end, submitting your claim requires you to submit the ET1 Form to the Employment Tribunal.

Will it cost me anything to make a claim?

Yes. From July 2013 fees were introduced for Employment Tribunal claims. To issue your claim you will need to pay either £160 or £250 depending on the type of claim you are bringing. Claims such as breach of contract or claims for unpaid wages attract the £160 fee and claims such as unfair dismissal or discrimination claims are subject to the £250 fee.

If your claim goes to a hearing then around a month before the hearing, you will have to pay an additional hearing fee of either £230 or £950 again depending on the type of claim you have made.

If you are in receipt of certain benefits such as Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or Income Support then you will be entitled to “fee remission” which means that you will not have to pay the fees detailed above. Also, if your gross monthly income is below a certain level then you may be entitled to a full or partial reduction in the fee that you have to pay.

The Employment Tribunal has the power to order the Respondent to pay the issue and hearing fees that you have paid to you in addition to any compensation that you are awarded if you are successful. It is unlikely that you will be entitled to the repayment of the fees that you have paid should you lose at the final hearing.

What happens after I have submitted my claim?

Once your claim has been accepted then your (former) employer, or Respondent as they are referred to, has 28 days in which to submit their response form (ET3).

After this then the Employment Tribunal will either send a letter to you and the Respondent setting down a timetable of all the tasks you have to carry out in preparation of the hearing and when they have to be done by or arrange a Preliminary Hearing to decide these tasks and dates as well as any other preliminary issues such as whether you are a disabled person or not or whether you were an employee. 

The types of task that need to be done ahead of any hearing will usually include: 

Preparing a Schedule of Loss setting out how much compensation you are claiming

Providing the Respondent with all the documents that you have relating to your case and them providing you with all the documents that they have

Providing a Witness Statement for you and any other witnesses you want to give evidence at the hearing

Arranging for the preparation of an indexed bundle to be used at the hearing

The Hearing

As explained above, the hearing is a little less formal than a court hearing. Depending on the complexity of your claim it will either be dealt with by an Employment Judge on their own or a Tribunal panel consisting of an Employment Judge and two lay members.

More often the tribunal will read your witness statement and the key documents just before your hearing and so you may not have to read your statement out. You will, however, be cross-examined by the Respondent or their representative and the Tribunal may also have some questions for you. You will be given the opportunity to cross-examine the Respondent’s witnesses. At the end of the hearing you will be given the opportunity to sum up the key pieces of evidence and refer the Tribunal to previous cases or legislation that support your claim.

The Tribunal will then take some time to consider the evidence they have heard and either provide you with the outcome to your claim there and then or send it to you in writing.

Will my case settle before a hearing?

Most likely, yes. Of the 190,000+ cases that were issued in 2012/2013, 33% of claims settled through the assistance of ACAS. Of the remaining 67% of claims, only 11% of those made it to a final hearing and were successful.

How long will it all take?

The time it takes to get from issuing your claim to a final hearing is getting shorter due to there being fewer claims being made at the moment. Even so, you can expect the process to take around 6 months from start to finish.

If you would like further advice and assistance on any of the above please do not hesitate to contact the Employment team on 0800 433 2255

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