Employment Tribunal Claims
Employment tribunals are a system of courts that have authority to deal with a number of different types of employment law claims and disputes arising between an employer and their employees.
Employment tribunals hear cases and make decisions on matters to do with employment law, including unfair dismissal, redundancy payments, discrimination and claims relating to wages and other payments.
Tribunals are part of the court system like the courts that hear civil and criminal cases. Tribunals are a different tier of the judicial system and are operated as a part of the Ministry of Justice by HM Courts & Tribunals Service.
Most claims have to be brought within three months of the conduct complained of, or, in unfair dismissals, the effective date of termination of the contract or the last day of working.
A claim for a redundancy payment must be brought within six months of the relevant date.
Unfair dismissal claims presented out of time may still proceed if the applicant can persuade the tribunal to extend the time for presentation.
The applicant must satisfy the tribunal that it was not reasonably practicable to present the complaint within the initial time prescribed and that it was reasonable to do so in the time within which the complaint was actually presented.
In sex and race discrimination claims the tribunal has the power to allow a claim which is out of time where it considers that it is “just and equitable” to do so.
Making a claim
A claim has to be made in writing. Claims must be submitted using the ET1 form. It is obtained from the offices of the tribunal service or can be downloaded from their website and printed and sent by post, or it can be submitted online.
ACAS Early Conciliation
The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) was established under the Employment Protection Act 1975 to promote the improvement of industrial relations, and help with the settlement of trade disputes.
ACAS may conciliate in relation to most matters that can come before employment tribunals, and in 2014 the ACAS Early Conciliation Scheme was launched for employment tribunal claims.
Claimants must have provided certain information to ACAS and a certificate must be issued to them as to whether or not settlement is possible, before the claimant’s case can be presented to an employment tribunal.
The limitation period which applies to employment tribunal claims is extended by up to one calendar month (with one extension allowed of up to 14 days if the conciliation officer considers that there is a reasonable prospect of achieving a settlement before the expiry of the extended period and has the consent of both parties) to allow for the early conciliation process to take place.
ACAS Early Conciliation Scheme (ACAS website)
Tribunals can order employers to pay compensation to claimants if they are successful.
For unfair dismissal the tribunal can award compensation made up of a basic award, which is calculated in the same way as a statutory redundancy payment, and a compensatory award to cover financial losses caused by the dismissal. The maximum award of compensation is limited to the lower of a year’s pay or the statutory limit in force at the time.
There is no statutory limit to the amount of compensation that can be awarded in Equality Act discrimination claims if they are successful.
Bishopsgate Law Solicitors
Bishopsgate Law employment lawyers provide independent legal advice about employment settlement agreements, and represent employees and employers at employment tribunals.
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Last Updated on March 2, 2021 by Admin