Employment Tribunals

Employment Tribunals are every employer’s worst nightmare, and with fees now abolished, it’s never been easier for disgruntled employees to bring a claim.

Not only have claim numbers risen year on year since 2017, but research shows they are becoming more complex and taking longer to resolve, further increasing your costs. With this in mind, receiving the right support can be crucial to minimising financial and reputational risk.

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How we help

Reduce exposure, protect your bottom line

At Ellis Whittam, we help organisations proactively reduce their exposure to Employment Tribunal claims through high-quality, pragmatic advice. 

With a trio of dedicated Employment Law specialists at your disposal, you can navigate your way through even the trickiest employee matters quickly and compliantly – and, should a claim arise, we’ll be there guide and support you, strengthen your position and minimise stress.

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Frequently Asked Questions - Employment Tribunals

Support when you need it most

Dealing with an Employment Tribunal can be an incredibly unnerving and time-consuming process. Our team of specialist litigators can look after you, and your case, throughout the life of a claim.

Your dedicated adviser will deal with all the other parties, take care of correspondence, and draft all your documentation to relieve you of significant time pressures and offer peace of mind. If you have taken Legal Expenses Insurance, we will liaise with the insurers directly on your behalf and keep them updated. We can advise you as to prospects of success based on our years of experience in defending claims brought against companies, and, where possible and appropriate, explore settlement and negotiate terms that are acceptable to you.

We will also liaise with Chambers to find and instruct a barrister who will represent you at the hearings, and work closely with them to ensure seamless representation throughout. We will do everything we can to advance your case and take the stress out of an already stressful situation.

Dramatically reduce risk

You’re over eight times more likely to defend a Tribunal claim if advised by EW.

Popular FAQs

Common Employment Tribunal queries and questions about our support, answered by our Employment Law and Litigation specialists.

How can I work out the chances of success at an Employment Tribunal?

The precise chances of success at Tribunal can be very difficult to accurately measure. It requires a careful review of the relevant law and the evidence in a case before an opinion can be offered. Even then, the best one can hope for is a view of whether a certain party is more likely to win or lose. Beyond that there are far too many variables to be too precise.

How can I handle an Employment Tribunal for discrimination?

Any Tribunal claim is difficult for a lay person to handle and that is even more so in a claim for discrimination. These sorts of claims often revolve around complex legal concepts and it really is best to have a professional in your corner. They can identify the issues, advise you on the process, identify and seek out relevant documents and prepare the case for you. This would include the collation of documents into a paginated bundle, the preparation of witness statements, and the instruction of a barrister to argue your case in Tribunal.

How are Employment Tribunal decisions made?

This depends on the type of case. For some straightforward claims, such as those for wages, holiday pay or unfair dismissal, a Judge alone will hear the case and make a decision based on the evidence. For more complex claims, or unfair dismissal with an element of discrimination or whistleblowing, the case will be heard by a three-person panel – a Judge and two lay people. Of the two members, one will usually have a background in HR/business and the other in trade unions. The idea being you then have an industrial jury who have experience from both an employer and employee perspective.

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. More complex case types such as discrimination can cost more, with the average award for age discrimination in 2019/20 coming in at £38,794. As a result, it makes sense to have the benefit and peace of mind of Legal Expenses Insurance which can cover these costs.

Can I get free Employment Tribunal advice?

Not as an employer. Some charities or legal professionals offer free advice to employees but hardly ever to employers. Acas act as mediators in all Tribunal claims but they are not legal professionals and cannot give legal advice. That’s why it makes sense to have a legal professional fighting your corner and getting you the best outcome possible.

What outcome can I expect from a redundancy Tribunal case?

Compensation. Most successful claims brought by an employee result in the employer having to pay compensation. The average award for unfair dismissal over the past 12 months is a little over £15,000. In some cases, a Tribunal can order that a previously dismissed employee be reinstated but those cases are fairly rare.

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

Yes. 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.

Will training reduce the risk of Employment Tribunal claims?

Mismanagement can exacerbate employee issues and, in some cases, can leave you exposed to Employment Tribunal claims. Our range of HR training courses can minimise this risk by increasing awareness of Employment Law and best practice in essential topics such as Discipline & Grievance, Equality & Diversity and Performance Management.

Will you take care of the documentation involved in an Employment Tribunal claim?

Yes. We draft pleadings, including any responses to Further and Better Particulars, deal with disclosure of documents and work with potential witnesses to draft statements for agreement and approval.

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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
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