Employment Tribunal

We will guide your business through the legal and cost implications of defending employment tribunal claims.

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Employment Tribunal

Expert, practical legal advice for businesses defending employment tribunal claims

Receiving an employment tribunal claim against your business can be daunting, consume a lot of time and potentially incur significant expenses. Before taking your first step, it is essential to seek advice from a specialist employment solicitor.

Our team possesses extensive experience in handling employment tribunal claims against businesses. Based on a thorough understanding of the issues, we will provide you with expert advice on your options and, if needed, represent you in the tribunal itself.

Unlike other legal proceedings, in employment tribunals it is customary for each party to bear their own costs. This means that, even if you successfully defend a claim, it is unlikely that the employee will reimburse your costs unless their conduct has been unreasonable or vexatious.

Although you may wish to mount a strong defence against an employment tribunal claim we can help you consider if this would be the most practical and cost-effective approach to the matter for your business. In many cases, reaching a settlement could be the simplest and lowest-risk way to achieve a satisfactory conclusion and we can guide you on your options. We can also facilitate judicial mediation as an alternative to a lengthy tribunal hearing.

How best to manage an employment tribunal claim requires careful consideration. Our approach involves promptly grasping the legal issues, carefully evaluating the available options and assisting you in planning a way forward that yields the best outcomes for your business.

To discuss your situation and obtain guidance on the probable fees for employment tribunal claims, please contact a member of the team in St Albans, Harpenden or Luton.

“Taylor Walton are recognised not only among the top 200 law firms and lawyers in England and Wales, but also as the firm that provides the best service in the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire areas”

‘The Times’ in cooperation with ‘Statista’


OUr Employment LAW team


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Frequently asked questions

What is an employment tribunal claim?

Existing and former employees and workers can bring claims against their employer or former employer in the employment tribunal in relation to their employment or the termination of their employment.  Common claims include unfair dismissal; discrimination and unlawful deductions from wages.

What happens once an employment tribunal claim is submitted?

If an employee brings a claim against their employer in an employment tribunal, the employer will be notified, usually by post, and given the opportunity to respond.  The employer will have 28 days to respond from the date that the claim form was sent to the employer.

In most cases, the employer will be aware of the possibility of an employment tribunal claim because employees are usually required to notify ACAS of their potential claims as part of the pre-claim conciliation process before they can start an employment tribunal claim.  This process is designed to encourage parties to explore whether an employment dispute can be settled before legal proceedings are commenced.

What are the potential consequences of losing an employment tribunal claim?

If an employer loses an employment tribunal claim, they may be required to pay compensation to the employee.  The employee is entitled to be compensated for their reasonable losses caused by the employer’s unlawful actions. This could include compensation for loss of earnings and/or an award for injury to feelings.  The value of a successful tribunal claim depends of the type of claim and the circumstances of the Claimant.

How can businesses avoid employment tribunal claims?

Businesses can avoid employment tribunal claims by ensuring that they are up-to-date with employment law and treating their employees fairly and consistently. This includes having clear policies and procedures in place and keeping them up to date, offering regular training and development to their managers, and addressing any issues or complaints promptly and professionally.  Taylor Walton can assist employers with meeting their employment law obligations at all stages of the employment relationship.

How long does an employee have to start a claim?

In most claims the time limit to start proceedings is 3 months less 1 day from the incident complained about.  However, in the majority of cases, a Claimant now has to participate in a pre-claim conciliation process via ACAS before they can submit a claim to an employment tribunal.  The deadline to start the process with ACAS remains at 3 months less one day, but the time limit to commence a claim is paused whilst the conciliation process takes place.  This means a claim may be validly submitted several months after the relevant incident.

Employers should also be aware that employment tribunal has discretion to extend time where it is just and equitable to do so.

What steps are involved in an employment tribunal claim?

This depends on the type of claim.

In all claims, there are many tasks to complete before an employment tribunal claim reaches the final hearing.  These include disclosure of relevant documents and preparation of witness statements.  In some claims, there may be a preliminary hearing to assist the parties in preparing for the final hearing (known as case management) or in order to decide a preliminary issue (such as whether a Claimant meets the definition of a disabled person in  a disability discrimination claim).

It is always important to follow any orders or directions of the employment tribunal.  Failing to do so can have serious consequences such as being required to pay the costs of the other party or financial penalties.

Can we settle with the Claimant?

Yes the parties can agreed settlement at any stage in the proceedings, including during a final hearing.  At Taylor Walton we always discuss the benefits of settlement with our clients at an early stage to ensure that claims are handled in a proportionate and cost effective manner.


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