If you think you have a claim against your employer, please contact us to book a free 30-minute appointment where we will be able to discuss your case with you and give you the opportunity of taking this matter further.
There are many different types of employment claims and it is possible that claim that you think is an obvious one may not be the one that is most suitable for your case.
There are strict time limits for making a claim to an employment tribunal. In most cases, you have 3 months minus 1 day from the date the problem at work happened. If you think you have a claim then act quickly and contact us immediately.
The length of service you have had with your employer can also impact your ability to be able to make a claim. This however will depend on the type of claim that you will be bringing, by way of an example employees can only usually claim unfair dismissal against an employer if they have a minimum of 2 years service.
However, there are exceptions to this rule.
We have set out a very brief overview to the employment claim process.
- There is a dispute between you and your employer. Maybe you are still in employment or maybe you have already left your employment by way of dismissal.
- It is always best to try to resolve any problems directly with your employer which would include bringing a grievance against them in the first instance.
- If this is not successful this is normally the time that a client would contact us to intervene and obtain advice although some clients may wish to contact us for advice when they first realise there is an issue or dispute.
- Most cases will need to start by contacting ACAS for what is known as an Early Conciliation Form if you are proposing to bring a claim against your employer. ACAS will then contact both parties and offer conciliation services to try to resolve the matter before you actually bring a claim. This is to try to resolve the dispute without the need for actually starting a claim.
- We have mentioned here that there are strict time limits in bring in a claim but once you contact ACAS to start the process of Early Conciliation this will in effect stop the clock on the time period to submit your claim and the clock will only start again when you have your certificate issued by ACAS if conciliation is not successful. If of course, conciliation is successful then there will be no need to bring a claim and the matter will have been resolved.
- Before any client brings a claim, we would normally have a meeting with you to discuss the merits of your claim and how strong a claim you would have. At this stage, depending on the complexity of your case, we may involve a barrister in a roundtable meeting
- If we do need to bring a claim then we can help you complete the claim form which is the start of the process. Your claim form will then be sent to the tribunal and if accepted will be sent to your employer.
- If no response is received from your employer then it may be possible to go for a judgement without any involvement from the employer. This is something we could discuss in more detail at a further appointment.
- If your employer puts in a defence to your claim then there is then a process of “case management” that happens at this stage which may include a preliminary hearing and submission of all of the evidence you would have to support your claim. Preliminary hearings will inform the Employment Tribunal of the issues in your case and set a time table for directions and a list will be prepared of what the Tribunal will need to enable the parties to prepare for the final hearing.
- Once all of the criteria and stages have been followed there will be a hearing on your case and a judgement will be issued as to the success of your case.
- Negotiations can still take place throughout the process of your claim and can settle at any time through negotiations.
- You will have the opportunity to submit a witness statement before the final hearing and we would discuss any witnesses you would like to take with you to support your case, however we would need to know this at the outset before you bring a claim.
Stages in Employment Tribunal Claims
This is a basic structure for bringing a claim and may vary in each individual case although these stages below are usually found in each claim.
Early Acas Conciliation (EAC)
It is compulsory to go through EAC before you are eligible to bring a claim in the employment tribunal. During EAC the parties negotiate and attempts are made to settle the dispute before a claim is made.
EAC usually lasts for 4 weeks, but can be extended by a further 2 weeks if the parties agree. EAC does not have to last 4 weeks, and can end before the deadline. Maybe for example it will be evident that a settlement will not be reached.
When conciliation ends ACAS produces a certificate to show that EAC was completed and the certificate contains a reference number needed to bring a claim in the employment tribunal.
Starting the Claim
The claim is then started by submitting a claim form called an ET1 to the employment tribunal.
The respondent must then produce a defence in response to your claim within 28 days of the date on which the tribunal sent out and processed the ET1.
Tribunal’s Preliminary Review
The employment tribunal will then review the claim and the defence and decide what will happen next and set out time limits which will apply to your individual case.
There will be a preliminary hearing to start with which will set out case management directions and how the case will proceed and what the tribunal will need from this particular case to proceed to a final hearing.
It may well be at this stage that the parties require more information about the other parties case being the claim or defence.
Schedule of Loss
The employment tribunal will require the claimant or the employee to set out exactly what they are seeking by way of a schedule of loss or a counter schedule in order for the tribunal to have a clear understanding of what the claimant is asking for.
At this point or in fact any way through the case either party can propose terms for a settlement.
There is a period where disclosure is required if either party has not already done so and all documents whatsoever and who’s ever possession they are in which are relevant to the issues of the claim should be disclosed to the other party.
Preparation of Hearing Bundle
A hearing bundle which is a bundle and file full of all the documents that the parties, will be produced including their claim and defence will need to be prepared at this stage.
Judicial Mediation Consideration
It could be your case is suitable for judicial mediation and preparation for that mediation will also include preparation and gathering together the evidence and disclosure in the form of a trial bundle.
Encouragement of Mediation
At all stage’s the parties are encouraged to mediate and reach a settlement and mediation is an opportunity for either party to talk together to try to resolve their dispute and the issues in the particular case.
Witness Statement Preparation
There will then be a time after these procedures for both parties to prepare witness statements and will set out the evidence that either party would like to put before the employment tribunal.
Statements will be exchanged between solicitors and all parties involved at a set date and time.
Employment Tribunal Hearing
At a hearing, which may often last in excess of one or two days depending on the complexity of the case, the employment tribunal will first read the bundle of documents provided and will listen to all evidence from the witness stand then at the end of everything will decide as to the outcome of the case.
At the end of the final hearing a judge will issue and provide you with a decision they have reached which is called the judgement although there will be information given to you regarding how to appeal this decision if you want to discuss with us the grounds on which would like to appeal.
If you wish to discuss any aspects of a potential employment claim, please book a free 30-minute appointment or contact us below.