Nilima is a Trainee Solicitor at Deo Volente Solicitors
With the development of legislation over the last few years, the rights of employees are expanding. However, statistics suggest that employees are still too afraid or even unaware of their rights to make a claim against their employer. Regardless of unlawful treatment or not, it is good to know your rights and what you can do, should you be in such a situation. To bring a claim to the Tribunal, there are a number of steps to take.
Step 1 – Early conciliation – Before making a claim
Before making a claim to the Tribunal, it is essential that you tell the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration\Service (ACAS) that you would like to make a claim. This gives you and your employer the opportunity to settle matters without having to go to court. This is called Early Conciliation Service. However, both you and your employer can oppose to this and continue to the Tribunal if you did not want this service. You will need the conciliation certificate number for when you make a claim to the Tribunal.
What would we advise?
We would always suggest you try and settle the matter without having to go to court as it would save you time and money. However, the Conciliation Service is a mutual third party and therefore may not obtain the best outcome for you. Instructing a solicitor to assist in ensuring your claim is correctly valued is very important and highly advised.
Step 2 – Making a claim
It is important to note that if your course of employment has ended, you must bring a claim within 3 months of it ending. If you are wanting to make a claim but your employment has not ended, then you will need to make a claim within 3 months of when the issue you are complaining about happened.
There may be a number of reasons as to why you make a claim/ These include:
– Unfair dismissal
– Constructive dismissal
– Wrongful dismissal
If you feel you are being treated in an unlawful/unfair manner, you are entitled to make a claim. Here at Deo Volente Solicitors, we have successfully represented clients with cases around discrimination, unfair dismissal, bullying and harassment and unfair treatment.
What would we advise?
You can make a claim online via https://www.employmenttribunals.service.gov.uk/apply.
By following this link, you can fill out an online ET1 (Employment Tribunal 1) form. You can fill out this form yourself, but it is essential to complete this form correctly and accurately as the Tribunal will assess your claim on an initial basis from this information you provide. This is the first stage in which you address your concerns and therefore must be filled out correctly. At Deo Volente Solicitors, we like to go through the form carefully and thoroughly to ensure the Claimant does not miss out a single piece of relevant information which would assist their case.
Step 3 – Response to your claim form – Hearing date
Your employer will have 28 days to respond to your claim form. They can either make an offer to you or defend the claim you made. The Tribunal will make a decision on whether a full hearing is required. If a hearing is decided, the Tribunal will send a letter with dates and requirements from both parties; such as producing a schedule of loss, witness statements, relevant employment documents. All of these would need to be prepared before the hearing.
What would we advise?
We understand that this is a very stressful time for individuals and producing legal documents only adds to the stress. Here at Deo Volente Solicitors, we prepare each document in advance of the deadlines provided, run it through with the client, make any amendments and then submit in the required time. We prepare three separate files and organise them for the Tribunal Judge and the client, so it is easy to follow on the hearing. We ensure that we try to get the very best possible outcome for our clients. We also suggest and collate other documents which may not have been requested but is identified as relevant for your case.
At Deo Volente, we always stress the importance of individuals knowing their rights and to not be afraid to come forward as it is essential that people are treated fairly and with respect in the work place. These are values we hold highly ourselves and would like to ensure are held by other employers too.
If you feel you have been treated or dismissed unfairly at work contact us today for a free consultation 01234 350 244.