We have many years’ experience in defending Employment Tribunal claims and appreciate the process can be stressful.
Here are five things which you should either know or consider, as an employer:-
1. What does the Claimant want as an outcome?
Normally, it’s compensation but sometimes the Claimant will want their old job back or a different job. It’s an important consideration because it’s generally easier to settle a dispute overcompensation. You may not, however, always want a departing employee back in the workforce for practical or commercial reasons. In this case, defending the claim might be the only option if the Claimant doesn’t want compensation.
2. Has the Claimant sued a previous employer?
It’s vital to understand the Claimant’s mindset. If they’ve sued before, this could indicate a track record and tell you what they are hoping to achieve. If the claim against you is vexatious, then evidence of past behaviour may also be helpful when submitting your defence.
3. How long will the process take?
Tribunals aim to dispose of simple claims (such as unlawful deduction from wages and/or breach of contract) with a hearing length of 1-2 days within 6-7 months of them receiving the claim.
For more complex claims, such as unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistleblowing, you could be looking in the region of a year or more from when it is lodged until the case is heard.
Needless to say, the COVID situation is impacting how quickly claims are being dealt with at present.
4. How much will the process cost you?
This is easy to answer if you plan to use Centurion Legal:-
Respondent Employer Estimate of Costs.
If the claim is more complex, we can give you a quote upon request.
5. Should I defend the claim or settle?
This is the $64,000 question. You should consider a number of factors, such as:-
- How much it is going to cost you: “risk -v- reward”. The outcome is never guaranteed, so a commercial settlement could help you save both time and cost. Bear in mind that the Tribunal does not award the winner their costs, save in limited circumstances;
- Do you have legal expenses cover? If so, this could take away some of the financial burden;
- How much management time it will take to fully defend the claim, including Tribunal attendance; and
- Whether there is a point of principle involved, or if settling could open the floodgate to further claims from employees in a similar situation.
Centurion Legal can properly evaluate the claim for you and your litigation strategy. No situation is identical to the next – call Centurion Legal on 0115 822 4847/07957 471183 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can support you.
DISCLAIMER: This document is intended to be a guide to the current law only. It does not constitute legal advice and you are not entitled to rely upon it. You should always take proper legal advice relating to your own situation before acting.Centurion Legal