Employment Tribunal Solicitors - Compensation Claim Lawyers

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Employment Tribunal cases are very common with tens of thousands of applications or 'complaints' being dealt with formally every year in addition to many more disputes between employers and employees that are settled on an informal basis following submissions made by employment tribunal solicitors by the payment of compensation.

Specialist employment tribunal solicitors deal with a wide range of cases including unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal, redundancy, sexual and racial harassment and discrimination and age and disability discrimination. In addition they deal with disputes arising from unlawful wage agreements and unacceptable working conditions.

Employment Tribunal cases are dealt with in a similar fashion to a case that is heard in a civil court however it is less formal and the procedures are less stringent leading to a more relaxed atmosphere. Hearings are held at local offices situated all over the country. Each case is conducted by a panel of three government appointed board members. This board is made up of a Chairman and two lay officers who act independently and listen to both sides of the complaint. The chairman is usually legally qualified with the others nominated by an employers associated and a trades union respectively.

If you intend to make a claim concerning any area of employment, you may need the services of an Employment Tribunal solicitor to help you to determine if you are legally entitled to reinstatement or compensation. Employment Tribunal (ET) claims cover a wide variety of subjects including unfair dismissal, in which an employee’s termination or redundancy has no evidential backing, or constructive dismissal, in which an employee has left their position because of an employer’s breach of contract. The ET may also hear cases regarding wage disputes, redundancy pay disputes and employment contract disputes. It also handles cases involving discrimination, harassment, victimisation and workplace bullying based on race, disability, religion or gender. ET claims do not generally extend to personal injury (unless the injury is somehow related to discrimination) or restrictive covenants in employment contracts.

Legislative Protection

Employees in the United Kingdom have clearly defined rights in regards to employment matters that are contained in UK legislation, adopted EC regulations and case law built up over decades emanating mainly from the High Court of Justice and from the Employment Appeals Tribunal. Violation of these rights is often a ground for a complaint and financial compensation. If you need to discuss any of the matters outlined below just contact our employment tribunal solicitors for free employment rights advice :-

    Health and safety protection

      The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires the workplace to be safe for both employees and visitors to the company. All risks must be assessed and appropriate safeguards must be introduced to protect the health and safety of anyone who may be exposed to a risk to their health. There are heavy fines for any company that does not comply with these regulations and the company may be forced to shut down. Any employee regularly exposed to hazards should urgently take employment rights advice from a specialist solicitor as they may be entitled to claim damages for constructive dismissal in the Employment Tribunal and in addition it may be possible to claim compensation for personal injury in a Court of Law.

    Working time rights

      The maximum number of hours an employee is allowed to work per week is 48 although there are some employees who opt to exceed this number. If an employee chooses to work more than 48 hours per week they have to provide written consent to their employer. Employers are not allowed to require employees to work more than 48 hours per week or to treat them differently if they refuse.

    Holiday rights

      Most employees are entitled to four weeks paid holiday per year. They usually have the choice on when to take their holidays although some businesses can dictate when an employee can take their holiday. The normal four weeks paid holiday, can in some cases include annual statutory holidays including bank holidays etc.

    Sick pay

      Employees are entitled to receive minimum sick pay according to law. Their employment contract should outline the terms and amount of the sick pay to be received.

    Breaks

      If an employee works for more than six hours a day, a rest break of 20 minutes is allowed.

    National minimum wage

      The National Minimum Wage Act 1998 determines minimum rates of pay for several classes of employee mainly dependent on age. The minimum wage rates are constantly revised and it is the responsibility of the employer to be aware of any changes and to effect those changes.

    The chance to join a Trades Union

      It is the right of every employee to choose whether or not to join a Trades Union. It is unlawful for an employer to treat an employee differently from other employees just because they chose to join a Trades Union.

Grievances

All employers are now legally required to provide a minimum formal procedure for dealing with grievances, dismissal and disciplinary action. The law aims to ensure employees can swiftly tackle issues of injustice using agreed means of communication. It also provides employers with a structured system for dealing with emotive issues.

Failure to raise a complaint in line with company policy can significantly damage an employees rights in future legal action. The Employment Tribunal may reject a solicitors claim if the matter was not handled correctly from the outset. Even when an employee succeeds in proving liability, compensation can be reduced by as much as half if the employee did not follow formal internal company procedures, however, compensation can be increased significantly in a successful case where an employee can show that the employer failed to implement their own disciplinary procedures.

Legal Requirements

The process of raising a complaint at work can be complicated. The legislation has introduced a series of new directives. For example, employees must now write to the employer about the problem and wait at least 28 days for a response before making a claim. It is important to comply with legal requirements at all stages. Specialist solicitors can provide fully up-to-date free advice on the latest grievance procedures.

Assistance

Workplace maltreatment can be a confidence sapping experience. Employees can feel intimidated and unsure about challenging those responsible for illegal behaviour or conditions. The necessary formality of employment dispute negotiation can add to a victims discomfort. Practical support is available from unions, the Citizens Advice Bureau and specialist solicitors. The Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) is another helpful service. ACAS mediators work with everyone involved to try to find a solution satisfactory to everyone, prior to an Employment Tribunal hearing.

If your Employment Tribunal claim is successful, the specific circumstances of your case will determine the amount of compensation you may receive. Unfair dismissal settlement awards have a maximum cap that is reviewed on an annual basis, but discrimination cases have no financial cap and awards can be substantial.

Time Limitations

If you believe that you may have a good case for compensation in regard to any aspect of your employment, you are usually required make an ET claim by way of a written application within three months of your dismissal or, for discrimination cases, within three months of the last discriminatory incident. In some instances, the three-month time limit may be extended and under the Employment Act 2002 (Dispute Resolution) Regulations 2004, it is sometimes extended automatically. Qualified legal advice from a specialist employment tribunal solicitor should be sought as it may still be possible for your claim to be submitted although it may appear to be out of time.

The location of the hearing of Employment Tribunal claims relates to your local area postcode. Once your employer or former employer receives your claim from the Employment Tribunal the time limit for a response is 28 days. Applications are heard by three individuals being a presiding chairman, an employer’s representative and a trades union representative. You do not have to be represented by an Employment Tribunal solicitor but it is recommended as your employer will almost certainly have instructed a lawyer.

Employment Tribunal Solicitors

An employment dispute may be a complex matter and it is imperative that you obtain advice from a qualified professional. Our solicitors are experts in dealing with Employment Tribunal claims. They are dynamic, forward thinking lawyers whose ethos is to understand and meet the needs of a diverse range of clients. These lawyers understand that clients need and require legal services which are proactive, practical and delivered with a close eye on risk/cost/benefit at all times. They are dedicated to getting things done effectively, quickly and in a cost effective way. Call today for a free consultation from Employment Tribunal solicitors. The call is confidential and should you choose to retain the services of a lawyer, they operate on a risk-free, no win no fee payment scheme. Simply put, if your solicitor does not win your case, you pay nothing.

HELPLINE ☎ 0330 660 7005