Get Advice Early!
Employment law can be complicated and few people have a clear idea of all their rights at work. If an employee thinks their employer has treated them unfairly, it is important for both parties to get legal advice at the earliest opportunity. In most circumstances there are specific deadlines for making complaints against an employer, which can be extremely short, and generally the longer you leave a problem, the harder it is to solve.
Take the first step to understanding employee and employer rights, as well as the options available to resolve difficulties which arise, by contacting our compassionate and dedicated Dispute Resolution and Employment team today!
Exploring the Alternatives
Employers and employees should, if possible, try and resolve problems through internal company/business grievance and disciplinary procedures. Why? Not only because matters can be sorted out quite quickly this way, but also because Employment Tribunals may refuse to hear your claim or reduce your compensation if you have not tried to sort out the matter internally before a claim is brought, by up to 25%.
Our experienced specialists can advise on internal grievance and disciplinary procedures, assisting you to set out your case or negotiate a settlement. It is normal to go through this procedure without legal representation however, we can still provide advice behind the scenes.
Since the introduction of the ACAS conciliation procedure, even more emphasis has been placed on parties to consider attempting to reach settlement before a claim is issued in the Tribunal. Even where parties do not wish to engage and consider settlement, ACAS still needs to be contacted if an employee wishes to push forward with a claim, as a certificate is required to be issued by ACAS before the claim can proceed. The date of the certificate can affect the time limit by which a claim has to be brought by an employee (as set out below), meaning whether the claim is brought in time is now even more complicated to calculate.
You should contact us as early as possible as if you do not want a dispute to proceed to a Tribunal or court. Employees must normally commence claims within three months of the date of the event being complained about, unless the claim is for a redundancy payment, where a period of six months is allowed. These deadlines may be extended but only in special circumstances.
One of our employment solicitors will be able to represent you in your claim in the Employment Tribunal or Court. It is up to the Tribunal to weigh up the evidence, consider the law and decide whether a claim against an employer is justified. The Tribunal is likely to consider what policies or procedures are in place for dealing with problems at work and what steps have been taken to solve the problem. The Tribunal will also consider the employee’s and employer’s behaviour throughout the time you were employed, as set out above, before making its final decision.
It is important to be aware that the courts and Tribunal impose strict deadlines when dealing with claims, which if not adhered to can have severe consequences for the defaulting party, including having a claim or defence struck out so that it cannot be relied on.
The easiest way to ensure you don’t default is to get specialist advice and let us look after your best interests!