If you have experienced a grievance at work, it is recommended that you try to resolve the matter informally, and failing that, through your employer’s formal grievance procedure. However, if both attempts fail to settle the issue, you may need to make a claim to an Employment Tribunal. The Tribunal is essentially the step between informal arbitration and court.
The Employment Law Solicitors at Cavendish Employment Law have a wealth of experience and expertise in bringing Tribunal claims, and we are ready to represent you. We pride ourselves on constructing clear and confident cases for our clients that offer them the best chance of success. Contact us to find out how we can help resolve your issue at work.
The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas)
Before you make a claim to an Employment Tribunal, you should consult and follow the Acas Code of Practice – it provides guidance on disciplinary action and grievances between employees, employers and representatives. It will make you aware of your and your employee’s responsibilities.
While the Code is not mandatory, if your workplace problem ends up before a Tribunal, the Tribunal panel will take it into account whether the Code was followed or not. The Code of Practice recommends that the employee:
- inform their employer about the nature of the problem – this should be done in writing and given to a manager who is not the subject of the grievance.
The Code recommends that the employer:
- arrange a meeting with the employee to discuss the matter;
- allow the employee to attend the meeting with a fellow worker, trade union representative or official trade union employee; and
- decide on what action should be taken following the meeting and communicate this to the employee without unreasonable delay.
If you are unhappy with your employer’s proposed action to resolve the issue, you can appeal through the internal grievance procedure.
If it is not possible to resolve your issue either informally or through your employer’s formal grievance procedure, you must notify Acas if you intend to make a claim to an Employment Tribunal. In most employment disputes, the parties will need to take part in the Acas Early Conciliation Scheme, which is a process that attempts to resolve the case before it goes to a Tribunal. If early conciliation fails to help you reach an agreement with your employer, you can make a claim to an Employment Tribunal.
If you think your dispute will proceed to a Tribunal hearing, it is important that you act as soon as possible as there are time limits which apply. The time limit for most claims is three months, including for claims of constructive dismissal, breach of contract, discrimination, whistleblowing, redundancy, equal pay and unlawful pay deductions. However, conditions apply in certain situations, so you should get legal advice from employment law specialists without delay to ensure your claim is still valid.
While your case is in the early conciliation process, the clock effectively stops and this period is not included in the three-month time limit.
The Tribunal Process
It is always our mission to resolve employment grievances with the least amount of stress, cost and time for our clients, and so negotiating a settlement agreement before going to a Tribunal is often the best course of action. However, where settlement negotiations have failed, we will provide you with expert representation at an Employment Tribunal to ensure you get the solution you deserve.
Employment Tribunal cases are public hearings and are usually heard by an employment judge and two tribunal members. Despite this, they are generally less formal than courts. We understand that taking formal action against your employer can be highly stressful and so it’s our aim to build a strong case on your behalf and give you the best possible chance of success. It is important that you contact us as soon as possible so we can start work on your case straight away.
We will help throughout your claim, including representing you during any preliminary hearing, requesting relevant documents from the employer, drafting pleadings, interviewing witnesses and organising their attendance at the hearing, and providing expert representation during the Tribunal hearing.
Employment Tribunal fees, which were in place since 2013, were ruled unlawful in July 2017. There is now no fee for bringing a claim with an Employment Tribunal.
In terms of other costs, the parties generally pay these themselves. At Cavendish, we will do our bit to keep your expenses low by offering clear, upfront fees and ensuring your claim is run expeditiously, from preparation to end.
Contact Our Award-Winning Employment Lawyers London, UK
If you have experienced a problem at work, contact us for understanding and pragmatic advice. We will listen to you carefully and recommend the best course of action, whether that be negotiating a settlement, mediation or making a claim with an Employment Tribunal.
As experts in high-value and complex employment law cases, we are well placed to provide you with specialist advice and representation. We have offices around London and the UK, in Moorgate, Chancery Lane, Holburn, Wandsworth, Hammersmith, the Isle of Dogs, Crawley and Barking. Feel free to come in, call our employment lawyers on 020 7167 4800 or contact us online.