Employment tribunal claims pose a number of risks to businesses through the considerable amount of time and resources they incur, including financial consequences, and also through the threat to their reputations.
Our employment team prides itself in the WBW Employment Law Package, which we offer to business clients, whereby we guard against employment tribunal claims arising by nipping problems in the bud.
If, however, you are an employer who finds yourself facing a claim then our solicitors can help out at any stage of the proceedings.
The following guide shows what employers can expect when defending an employment tribunal claim:
- At this first stage, we will take your initial instructions, review any documents and advise on the steps to follow, your prospects of defending successfully and your options;
- Employees are obliged to first complete ACAS mandatory conciliation before they issue a claim. We will advise regarding the possibility of settlement before the claim is brought to the employment tribunal;
- If the employee proceeds to issue a claim (ET1), we will review the claim and advise you on its merits (chances of success) and any likely compensation they may be awarded. We review these factors throughout the process;
- We then work with you to prepare and submit the response form (ET3) to the employment tribunal;
- If a preliminary hearing is necessary, we will help prepare and can represent you. We will also deal with any case management orders (like agreeing a trial bundle and exchanging statements) made by the employment tribunal;
- We will again consider and advise on the possible settlement of the employee’s claim, and we can help to negotiate where instructed;
- Next, we review and advise on the Schedule of Loss submitted by the employee and prepare a counter-schedule;
- We will collate and index the documents you plan to use and consider and advise you on any which the employee will use;
- We will agree on a bundle of documents with the employee which are necessary for the tribunal to consider and prepare the agreed documents (trial bundle);
- We may also need to agree with the employee on a list of issues, chronology and cast list for use at the hearing;
- We will help prepare any witness statements from you and any of your employees or other witnesses;
- We will exchange witness statements with the employee and review and advise on the statements they provide and what impact they have on the prospects and value of the claim;
- If required, we will represent you at the final hearing or assist in appointing an appropriate barrister;
- The employment tribunal will provide an outcome to the case and decide on any potential remedies. We will advise on the implications.
Please note that this is a guide only. Some stages may not be required, and additional steps, not listed, may be needed. This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.
You can contact a member of our Employment Team at any stage throughout your claim to instruct us to help. If you would like to know more about any of the information mentioned in the article, then contact Kerry Curd, a Partner in the Employment Department, by telephone on 01626 202406 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.