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Employment law advice

Raising an Employment Claim

Guide for Employees (Claimants)

This is a short guide for individuals raising a claim under the rules of procedure that apply when submitting a claim to the Employment Tribunal. This guide will outline how we can help you raise a claim if you have an employment related issue.

No more Employment Tribunal fees

In July 2017 the Supreme Court decided that the Tribunal fees required to be paid to lodge a claim were unlawful. Employees no longer have to pay fees to an Employment Tribunal to raise a claim. Now is therefore the best time for employees to raise a claim against their employer or former employer. 

What can you claim?

Examples of the types of claims that we can help you with include: 

  • Unfair Dismissal (including constructive dismissal);

  • Discrimination (based on grounds of disability, age, sex, pregnancy/maternity, race, sexual orientation, religion/beliefs);

  • Harassment;

  • Bullying at work;

  • Equal Pay;

  • Holiday Pay;

  • Discrimination;

  • Breach of Contract;

  • Dismissal or negative treatment as a result of Whistle-blowing; and

  • Unlawful deduction of wages.

Starting your claim - When to act?

As soon as you think one of the incidents, acts or complaints above has occurred you have three months less a day to raise a claim. For example, if you were unfairly dismissed on the 24 May 2018, the claim must be submitted on or before 23 August 2018. 

ACAS Conciliation

Before you can raise a claim, you must go through the ACAS Conciliation Period. This is usually a one month period where ACAS will contact the Respondent and investigate the possibility of both parties coming to an early settlement. This period can be extended if a settlement looks likely. Initiating ACAS conciliation has the effect of freezing any time limits in which a claim must be raised.

It is best practice to try and resolve things with your employer and seek independent legal advice as soon as possible. The earlier you raise a claim then the more time there is to prepare your case forms. A claim is started by presenting a completed form, known as an ET1 form, to the Employment Tribunal. 

Please note that the time limits imposed by the Employment Tribunal Rules are strict and there is no guarantee an extension will even be considered. Once a claim has missed the window it is usually the end of the road for that particular claim in the Employment Tribunal. 

What happens once my Claim is submitted? 

Once the ET1 form is submitted and is accepted by the Employment Tribunal, we must wait for a response from the other side (your employer), known as the Respondent. The Employment Tribunal will forward the ET1 form to the Respondent. From this date they have 28 days to respond, which is done by the submission to the Tribunal of an ET3 form. This form will state the Respondent’s defence(s) to the claim(s) raised. If the Respondent does not respond within this time limit, which is usually unlikely, an Employment Judge has discretion to issue a default judgement based on the information he has at such time. It is likely, however, an ET3 form will be submitted on time.  

What can I win at an Employment Tribunal? 

Depending on your type of claim, you may be eligible to claim a number of different types of award. The law generally is designed to compensate a Claimant who has suffered a wrongdoing, rather than punish a Respondent for committing a wrongdoing. All awards are therefore related to the losses of the Claimant. 

If you are successful with a claim of “unfair dismissal”, in most cases you will be entitled to two types of award. These awards are as follows: 

Basic award: This equates to your statutory redundancy payment; and 

Compensatory award: This is at the discretion of the Employment Judge as to what they deem to be just and equitable. Often it will compensate a Claimant into the position they would have been had they not been unfairly dismissed, ie the wages they would have received up until the point in which the Claimant starts alternative employment or is it is decided should have started alternative employment. 

If you are successful with a claim of “discrimination”, an Employment Judge may award you a payment in recognition of any Injury to Feelings. An Employment Judge was a wide discretion in deciding what would be just and equitable in these circumstances and will be decided on the individual merits of any claim. 

For further help / advice on making a claim contact, Robert Holland 

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