Legal Expenses Insurance for Employment Tribunals

Safeguard your business from the growing threat of Employment Tribunal claims with our independent, FCA-regulated Legal Expenses Insurance (LEI).

An optional component of our Employment Law and HR support, by underpinning our advice with LEI, you have maximum reassurance that your business is protected against unfair dismissal and other costly employee claims.

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How we help

A safety net against costly claims

Becoming entangled in an Employment Tribunal claim can put a significant drain on your time, energy and finances. At Ellis Whittam, our ultimate aim is to help you prevent employee issues from escalating into full-blown claims. However, should the worst happen, our LEI offers an added layer of protection for your organisation in difficult times.

  • Covers your defence costs, plus any settlements and awards
  • Protection against all types of claims, including unfair dismissal, discrimination and TUPE
  • No self-insurance model, no conflict of interest
  • Expert support from Litigation Team throughout the claims process
  • Legal representation from a barrister included in the cost

Related Information


Definitive Guide to Employment Tribunals

Employment tribunal compensation


Employment Tribunal Survey Suggests Costlier, More Complex Claims

James Tamm


Year in Review | The Landscape of Employment Law in an Uncertain Economy

Consistently high achievers in defending claims

In 2019, the average award for unfair dismissal was £13,704. More complex case types, such as age discrimination, can cost employers in excess of £30,000. With statistics showing that the volume of claims is rising year-on-year since fees were abolished, and research revealing that they are becoming more complex and costlier to resolve, receiving the right support has never been more important.

With unlimited practical support from EW in all areas of Employment Law, you’re not only 77% less likely to encounter a claim but eight times more likely to be succeed at trial with an expert to guide you through the process.

Dramatically reduced risk.

0 %
Increased risk: The number of Employment Tribunal claims brought against employers has increased 26% year on year (2018/19)

Popular FAQs

Common questions about our Legal Expenses Insurance for Employment Tribunals, answered by our Employment Law and Litigation specialists.

What are the benefits of the insurance being independent from EW?

Unlike some of our competitors, our LEI is placed with an independent insurer, i.e. we don’t self-insure or insure with a company in any way related to us. The benefit of this is that there’s no conflict of interest, enabling us to provide advice that is genuinely commercial, not overly restrictive, and has only your best interests in mind.

What if we’re looking to bring a claim against an ex-employee?

Our LEI can be utilised to pursue claims against third parties or former employees who breach restrictive covenants by contacting your clients or working for a competitor post-termination.

Are there any stipulations? Anything that might invalidate the insurance?

While LEI enables you to make people decisions without being overly cautious, it doesn’t give employers free reign to do anything they want. If you choose not to follow the advice given to you by your dedicated team of Employment Law specialists, you won’t be covered in the event of a claim. In each situation, we’ll help you to take the most appropriate course of action based on a balanced assessment of the risks.

Can you deal with Employment Tribunal claims, or is this triaged outside of EW?

Should you receive a claim, your dedicated Employment Law adviser, who will have dealt with the matter up until that point, will conduct a full handover to our Litigation Team. They will explain the case history, share all the relevant documentation and offer their views on the prospects of the claim. Our Litigation Team will then take over all the prep work, including drafting a defence, producing bundles, dealing with Acas and the other side, and briefing counsel. Rest assured this is a smooth process, with everything kept inside EW, and you will be in safe hands throughout.

If I don’t take LEI, what happens in the event of a claim?

Our Litigation Team will still be able to support you through the claims process for an agreed fee. Our charging rates are amongst the lowest available despite our market-leading win rates. We will always do our best to secure the most cost-efficient outcome for you regardless of the circumstances.

I’ve never had a claim before – why would I need to take LEI?

For the same reason you take out any insurance policy – to guard against the high cost of defending an Employment Tribunal claim. The premium cost is very low compared to the potential payout, especially as it covers the cost of representation as well as any potential compensation. You don’t have to have LEI, but it could significantly impact your bottom line if something goes wrong, given that the cost of even the most basic unfair dismissal claim could be £20-25,000 when legal costs are factored in. Unfortunately, the latest Tribunal statistics suggest that employers now are more vulnerable than ever.

How much does an Employment Tribunal cost?

Since 2017, it does not cost anything to make a Tribunal claim and that has seen the number of claims increase exponentially. If a disgruntled employee wants to make a claim against you, all they need is a laptop and a spare 10 minutes. Once that claim is submitted, you are into a process which is not easy or quick to get out of. The average compensation payment in an unfair dismissal claim is around £15,000 and legal fees can often match that. As a result, it makes sense to have the benefit and peace of mind of Legal Expenses Insurance which will cover these costs.

Can you help us to detect issues before they result in a claim?

First and foremost, our aim is to help you prevent people problems before they arise and, if they do, help you manage and resolve them quickly and compliantly. We do this through unlimited pragmatic advice and guidance, provided by dedicated Employment Law specialists. Plus, for organisations with larger case volumes, we can produce MI reports to uncover any emerging issues and problem hotspots. That way, you can recognise, and with our help resolve, employee issues before they escalate into full-blown claims.

Explore our fixed-fee Employment Law support

We do more than just legal expenses insurance...

Advice Line

Fast, pragmatic, commercial. Our Employment Law and HR advice line gives you and your managers access to truly unlimited advice on all of your people-related challenges, from the seemingly straightforward to the most complex.

What sorts of things can you advise on?

HR matters come with the territory when you run a business or manage an organisation and we’re here to help you through it all. Whether you’re battling absenteeism, struggling to manage an underperforming employee or need help navigating a complicated exercise like redundancy, we can walk you through the steps required to handle the situation appropriately.

Is everything dealt with through one team?

Yes. All of our advisers are qualified legal professionals or on the road to formal qualification, which means a full range of employee issues can be dealt with within your dedicated three-person team. In the event that you’re presented with an Employment Tribunal claim, we will conduct a full handover to our Litigation Team so that they are well equipped to defend you.

Find out more

Contracts and Handbooks

Whether you have nothing in place or just need an expert review, our Employment Law specialists can carefully craft your employment contracts and employee handbooks to guarantee compliance and provide the flexibility you need as an employer.

What are the risks of not having the right contracts in place?

Failing to provide an employee with a contract could lead to additional compensation being awarded to an employee who successfully makes another sort of claim against their employer. In addition, a number of practical problems could be caused by having incorrect contracts, such as paying too little (or too much) notice, getting holiday entitlement wrong and failing to protect legitimate business interests in the face of an employee leaving for a competitor.

How often do HR policies need to be reviewed?

Whenever there are changes to UK employment legislation, such as the recent changes to bereavement leave or the Good Work Plan, it’s important to make sure your contracts, handbooks and policies are updated accordingly. We can take the pressure off by alerting you to any such changes and helping you to implement them in your documentation and practices.

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Drafting Letters and Documents

From the most straightforward warning for poor attendance to complex grievance outcome letters and everything in between, our Employment Law solicitors can draft all your employment documents to save you valuable time and stress.

What sorts of documents can you draft?

Just about anything and everything you might need during the employment relationship. All of our advisers are qualified legal professionals or on the road to formal qualification, which means we can support you with a full spectrum of advice and documentation, from first written warnings to new contractual clauses, to a policy you might not have in your handbook, plus more complex legal documents like settlement agreements and redundancy outcome letters.

I’ve got a HR team and just want templates we can use. Do you have a resources bank?

Yes, our fixed-fee Employment Law and HR support includes full access to our Knowledge Hub, available through MyEW, which contains most of the templates we work from. If you have an internal HR team, you may prefer to access these and tailor them yourselves. However, for more complex cases, we would always suggest engaging with our legal advisers as it can be all too easy to word something in a way that leaves you exposed.

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Tired of classroom training, or unable to take time out? Raise awareness of best-practice around workplace issues and prevent HR headaches with our flexible, cost-effective e-Learning courses.

What types of courses are available?

Our ever-growing library of e-Learning courses currently covers over 100 topics, including HR courses such as Equality & Diversity, Sexual Harassment and Social Media Use; soft skills courses such as Communication, Leadership and Change Management; and compliance courses such GDPR, Anti-Money Laundering and the Bribery Act. We also offer an extensive range of Health & Safety courses, including Accident Reporting, Risk Assessment and First Aid. Download the full course catalogue.

How much do the courses cost?

All of our e-Learning courses are free for the first year when you purchase our Employment Law and HR or Health & Safety managed service. This means you’re not paying per head or per course, which not only keeps down but gives you complete cost certainty over your training expenses. This is particularly handy if your workforce is growing, as you won’t need to purchase extra licenses, giving you exceptional value for money.

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Management Information

Discipline, performance, absenteeism. We’ll show you exactly where your dedicated Employment Law advisers are spending their time so that you can target key problem areas for more productive, high-performing teams. Recommended for large organisations with high case volumes.

What detail does the MI provide?

The report will highlight what sorts of issues we are advising on and who/where in your business those questions are coming from. That way, we can easily spot problem areas, bring them to your attention and recommend steps to address the issues.

What sorts of recommendations do you typically provide?

We will provide practical and pragmatic recommendations to address whatever common problems are arising. The exact nature will depend on the sort of issues but could include training of managers in certain areas or the production of additional guidance and documentation to guide them through tricky subjects.

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From document templates to HR Software, MyEW gives you all the tools you need to manage even the trickiest employee issues, improve efficiencies and get the answers you need, fast.

What sorts of issues can I find guides and templates on?

We have hundreds of guidance notes and accompanying templates covering a full spectrum of employment-related issues, including Maternity, Pay, Flexible Working, Holidays, Performance and Redundancy. All of these resources are created by our experts, and if you require further support or have any questions, you can contact your dedicated team of advisers for practical advice and guidance.

What does the HR Software do?

There can be a great deal of administration involved in managing employees, and the burden only increases as your business grows. If filing cabinets of employee information is no longer cutting it, our HR Software will help to automate your processes, save valuable time and manage HR tasks at the touch of a button. Use it to store and organise employee data and essential documents; manage and report on holidays, absence, timesheets and rostering; stay on top of employee reviews; maintain a comprehensive employee directory, and keep a record of training and development.

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Based on 98 reviews

95% Client satisfaction rate - 97% Client retention rate

Experts in Employment Law & HR

Why choose us?

At Ellis Whittam, we’re known for our bespoke service and the quality of our support. Not only is our expertise unmatched, but we take the time to know you so that we can function as a true extension of your team.

  • Your own small team of dedicated experts
  • Commercial, pragmatic advice tailored to you
  • Bespoke contracts, policies and handbooks
  • Trusted by over 35,000 organisations
  • Recognised as a leading firm by the Legal 500

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