We understand it isn’t always possible to resolve workplace issues amicably. We aim to make defending tribunal claims as simple and painless as possible.
Centurion Legal support the employer. If you are an employer and need legal help contact us today.
Let us help you with your tribunal claim.
Our capped ‘menu-pricing’ system means that you always know exactly how much each stage of the litigation is going to cost.
Our services include:
Preparing all the relevant documents.
Making sure you have the best advocate possible to represent you at hearings.
Keeping you fully informed and supported throughout the process.
Reviewing and updating your prospects of success on a regular basis.
Tribunal complaints: time limits and qualifying periods.
Normally, the claimant (which could be a present or former employee, or even a job applicant) must first complete the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) early conciliation process before lodging a Tribunal complaint.
The time limit for lodging most Employment Tribunal complaints is three months less one day from the act complained about.
Once a potential claimant contacts ACAS, the time limit pauses whilst conciliation takes place for up to one month. ACAS may extend this period by a further 14 days if it is not possible to settle the dispute in the initial period and both parties agree.
If either party does not wish to conciliate, ACAS will issue an early conciliation certificate with a reference number which the claimant must include on the Tribunal claim form.
If both parties agree to the terms of the settlement, ACAS will formally record these terms on a COT3 agreement which concludes the matter without the need for litigation.
Claim and response
Once the Tribunal receives and issues the complaint, the employer (called the ‘respondent’) has 28 days in which to formally respond.
We are experts in dealing with all types of Tribunal complaints for a variety of businesses.
For straightforward cases, the Tribunal will issue standard case management directions when it serves the claim form on the respondent, telling the parties what to do and by when.
In more complex cases, the Tribunal may arrange a preliminary hearing to give case management directions and deal with any issues.
Example issues include matters such as the respondent arguing about the weakness of the claimant’s complaint and/or the time limits.
The litigation stages
1. The parties prepare and exchange a list of the documents they have which are relevant to the case.
2. They consider whether judicial mediation may be appropriate.
Judicial mediation is a process whereby the parties aim to resolve their dispute with the help of an employment judge, who is a trained mediator, to avoid the cost and time involved in going to a final hearing.
3. They prepare a joint bundle of evidential documents for use at the final hearing.
4. Finally, they prepare and exchange witness statements.
This is fundamental to your defence as, together with your formal response, it constitutes the basis of your evidence and defence at the Employment Tribunal.
The final hearing
Sometimes the hearing will only deal with liability (i.e. if the claim should succeed or not) and then remedy if necessary, i.e. what the claimant should receive if they succeed, such as compensation and/or be reinstated (in their previous role) or re-engaged (in a different role) by the respondent.
The Tribunal aims to decide cases within 26 weeks of receiving them.
Review / Appeal
The losing party may ask the same Tribunal to review the decision it has made, or appeal the decision to the Employment Appeal Tribunal, but there are limited grounds and time limits for making both applications.
The parties may settle the dispute at any stage of the litigation before the Tribunal decides upon a remedy. In this situation, the parties may seek ACAS’ help in conciliating the matter or negotiate via their legal representatives to reach a deal via a settlement agreement.
We recognise that it may be commercially desirable (e.g. to avoid spending time and/or money) to dispose of a claim if you receive one.
We are experienced litigators who will endeavour to negotiate a resolution for you on the best terms possible.
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