PO Box 28287
Telephone: 0131 662 6988
Fax:0131 667 8175

23 Cramond Glebe Rd
Cramond Village
Telephone: 0131 336 1619

Free EnquiryEmployment Tribunal Claims

The man who represents himself has a fool for a client – why you need expert help when dealing with employment tribunals

Issues can arise at work between employees or even between the employee and the employer. Usually, most disputes can be settled informally through a chat with those involved. If this fails to resolve the issue, most businesses have a set of guidelines to follow known as a grievance procedure. A grievance procedure, whilst not legally binding, is a set of recommendations that should facilitate all parties involved towards a positive resolution. However, if this fails to solve the problem, employees can take their grievances to an Employment Tribunal.

An Employment Tribunal is much like a Court of Law. A judge, your employer and witnesses come together to impartially present a resolution to the problem in hand. As in a court, any evidence given is done so under oath and anyone found to be giving false information can be convicted of perjury. The Tribunal itself usually consists of three members; a legally qualified Employment Judge and two ‘lay members’. Lay members are people who have had experience of dealing with employment problems from both the point of view of employers and employees, ensuring that the balance is struck between the two. While there is no cost for making a claim through an Employment Tribunal, the Tribunal itself can order you to pay costs if it thinks you or your representative has behaved unreasonably during the case. This can include actions made during the grievance procedure.

Hiring a legal representative may cost you money, but it can also ensure that you do not have to pay further, more expensive sums or say anything that may prejudice the case against you. To begin with, it is important to know exactly what you are claiming for. Employment Tribunals deal with specific rights, including disability discrimination and unlawful deductions from wages. Approaching a solicitor or compensation claims specialist will ensure that you know just what you are claiming for and whether or not you have the potential for a case in the first place. It is pointless to wander into an Employment Tribunal without knowing exactly why you are there, what you want and whether or not you have a chance of success.

In addition, there are time limits to consider. Usually, you must make a claim within three months of your employment ending or the event you are complaining about taking place. However, there are extenuating circumstances in which a Tribunal will examine a case outside of these parameters. Again, a legal representative will be able to advise you whether or not you have a chance at this and, if so, he will be able to present the case in such a way that it is more likely to be considered. While you don’t need a working knowledge of the Law to make a claim, you greatly enhance your chances of success if you use someone who is well-versed in legal employment matters.

Taking an employee or employer to an Employment Tribunal is not a prospect many of us relish. It is far better to attempt a positive resolution informally or through the grievance procedure. If, however, this is not possible, then you should seek legal advice as soon as possible.

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"Faced with a complex industrial dispute involving three parties, Callander Golf Club called on the expertise of The Work Ethic to help resolve the situation. Sound legal advice backed by high-level negotiating skills led to an out-of-court settlement to the satisfaction of the Firm’s clients."

J Morrison, Callander Golf Club

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