Below are some of our employment-related FAQs. If you have any further questions you need answering, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
We will usually request copies of all contractual documents issued by your employer, copies of all grievance or disciplinary letters, copies of all correspondence between the parties so far and/or their representatives, and all other correspondence or documentation that is relevant to your dispute. We will also need to know the details of any witnesses who are able to assist you with your claim.
We need this information to determine whether you have a reasonable prospect of succeeding with your claim in the employment tribunal.
If you have not been paid wages or notice pay, or if there is holiday pay outstanding, then the value of the unpaid sum will be the value of your claim. For unfair dismissal claims, if you are successful then you will usually be awarded a basic award, which is calculated by taking into account the number of years you have worked for your employer, your age and a capped gross weekly pay figure.
In addition, for unfair dismissal claims you will usually be compensated for your loss of earnings since dismissal. You are under a duty to mitigate your losses and apply for alternative work and must deduct earnings from any new employment from your earnings claim against your previous employer. You can also claim for a period of future loss from your previous employer, the duration of which will depend on the circumstances and the likely period in which you are expected to obtain employment. For discrimination claims, in addition to any loss of earnings, you are likely to receive an injury to feelings award which is based upon the severity of the acts that you have experienced.
The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) is a conciliation service that has a statutory duty to be involved in cases to assist with negotiating their settlement by discussing them with the parties or their representatives. ACAS have a separate function to the Employment Tribunal and usually such negotiations run parallel to any Employment Tribunal proceedings. Contact with ACAS is usually on a "without prejudice" basis. In other words, the Employment Tribunal will generally not be allowed to know of any discussions with ACAS that take place. A written agreement can be achieved through ACAS via a document called a COT3.
We will try to obtain a reasonable settlement of your claim through negotiations with the other party, which means that the hearing will be avoided in the majority of cases. However, some cases will inevitably have to proceed to a Tribunal hearing if the other party is either unwilling to engage in settlement negotiations or fails to put forward a reasonable settlement figure.
For unfair dismissal cases, the case will usually be heard by a single employment judge. However for other cases, a tribunal panel will usually hear the claim. The tribunal panel is made up of three members - one is an employment judge who chairs the panel, and he or she is generally an experienced solicitor or barrister who has experience in employment law.
There are two other members, with one coming from an employee background (such as a Trade Union representative) and the other member coming from an employer background (such as a member of an employer federation).
The spread of perspectives and experience of the three panel members seek to ensure that the case is considered in a balanced and fair manner.
Employment tribunal proceedings are more informal than regular civil court proceedings. Both parties sit in different sections of the room and witnesses will give evidence at a separate desk whilst sitting down. Witness statements are now usually taken as read and each witness will then be cross-examined by the other party or their representative about the details contained in the statement.
In straightforward cases, they usually will. However, in some cases the tribunal will want to go away and consider their decision further, which they will do via a reserved judgment. This will be provided to the parties on a later occasion.
Usually, in the civil courts, the general rule is that the losing party pays the successful party’s costs. In employment tribunal proceedings, however, this is not always the case – for example, if a case is pursued which is misconceived from the beginning, then costs can be awarded.
It can usually take between 6 and 9 months for an employment tribunal to list your case for a hearing. Your case may conclude sooner if a settlement is agreed between the parties.
source: DAS Law customer satisfaction survey 2014
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all of your help, considerable time, detailed analysis and valuable advice.
Just a quick note to say thank you for all your help and advice. I really appreciate all you have done for me and for your candour in explaining the potential pitfalls of my case.
WE WON, and with nothing to pay!!! I can’t believe it…Thank you so much for your help, kindness and support over the last few months.
The service provided was excellent and Leanne was extremely helpful and sympathetic. A first class service, thank you!