We’ve compiled some tips on how to avoid getting into employment disputes.
But if a dispute leads to a tribunal claim, then here’s what to expect.
When can an employee make a claim?
An employee can make a claim to an employment tribunal in circumstances where the employee feels:
- They have been unfairly dismissed
- They have suffered discrimination
- They are owed compensation – possibly as a result of a redundancy situation
- The employer has breached its employment contract with them
- Where there have been unauthorised deductions from wages
- Where pay has not been calculated fairly or equally, or where notice pay or holiday pay has not been calculated correctly
In the employee’s claim form (the ET1), they have to specify a remedy which can include reinstatement of their old job, re-engagement in another role, compensation or a change in working practices.
The employment claim must be made within 3 months and a day of the date that the specific problem occurred, and employees no longer have pay a fee to lodge a claim. It's also worth noting that employees do not usually have cover their employee’s costs if they lose the case.
What should I do if an employee has made a claim to an employment tribunal?
The first thing to do is not to panic.
Typically more than a quarter of claims are withdrawn, and a similar number are settled by ACAS. In fact, according the employment tribunal statistics service, only about 20% of cases actually make it to the final hearing.
However, where the claim is heard, these statistics suggest that the tribunal finds in favour of the employee, slightly more often than in favour of the employer.
Unfortunately for employers, where the employee’s case is upheld, the compensation awards can be substantial, so it is well worth engaging a specialist employment solicitor to try to resolve the case before it goes to a hearing, or if this is not possible, make sure the case is as well defended as possible.
This is where we can help. So if you have a difficult employee situation, or one of your employees has made or is thinking of making a tribunal claim, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.