Defending a Tribunal claim
No employer wants to find themselves defending an employee claim in the Employment Tribunal, which is why we work hard to make sure your policies, procedures and employment practices are completely up to scratch. However, sometimes a claim cannot be avoided and when that time comes we are here to make sure that you have every chance of successfully defending it.
Your first response to a claim
If you do receive notification of a claim against your organisation, it will normally be through the ACAS Early Conciliation Service. The clock starts ticking straight away so you should not delay in obtaining legal advice.
The purpose of the ACAS Early Conciliation Service is to give the parties an early opportunity to explore settlement as an alternative to the case going to the Tribunal. The ACAS conciliation office will act as a go between and if the case is settled will draw up the settlement document (COT 3) for the parties to sign.
If the case isn't settled by the deadline, the Conciliation Office issues a certificate stating that conciliation has failed and the Claimant is free to go to the Employment Tribunal.
Getting advice at an early stage is invaluable. Knowing how strong or
weak the case against you is and having a proper understanding of your
financial exposure will enable you to decide whether to seek an early
commercial settlement or to stand your ground and defend the claim.
Once the claim is issued, you are likely to be opposite employment lawyers
who are know the law and are familiar with the Employment Tribunal, so
getting professional help yourself is the first step to putting your
business on an even playing field. Often it is what you say in your
defence document– the ET3 – that will determine how the case
develops and it can make all the difference between successfully
defending the claim or losing it.
Your partner in litigation
Whether you choose to handle the case yourself or instruct us to
represent you, we are here to guide you through the whole
process. We will advise on the strengths (and weaknesses) of
your position and the best strategies to use to dispose of the
case. That could involve an aggressive defensive approach or
an attempt to achieve an early low value settlement – the
choice ultimately will be yours. We are here to equip you with the
necessary knowledge and understanding to enable you to make a
decision that best suits you.
Surprisingly few employment law cases actually get as far as a full tribunal hearing, but if that is the course your case takes, we will provide you with the best possible representation. Normally that will be our in house barrister who specialises in Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal cases giving you total continuity throughout the process, but sometimes, in particularly lengthy or complex cases, we will recommend representation by an experienced barrister from the Employment bar.