If you’re considering making a claim to the Employment Tribunal then it’s understandable that you’ll want to know more about the process before you submit your claim. The Employment Tribunal is supposed to be an informal and flexible system, allowing employees to represent themselves before an Employment Judge. However, the Employment Tribunal – and employment law in general – can often be complex and confusing and therefore specialist representation from an employment solicitor may be necessary – particularly if your employer has instructed an aggressive defence team. We’ll take a look in this post at when a Claimant in the Employment Tribunal may want to think about instructing an employment law solicitor. This will involve a consideration of the following elements:
- What potential claims can be made in the Employment Tribunal?
- What do I need an employment solicitor for?
- How do I know whether I need to use an employment law specialist?
- Will instructing an employment solicitor cost a lot?
What potential claims can be made in the Employment Tribunal?
A variety of claims can be made in the Employment Tribunal. These include unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal, breach of contract, failure to pay statutory redundancy pay, unfair deductions from wages, discrimination, harassment, victimisation and even personal injury (in very limited circumstances). There are tight time limits for claims in the Employment Tribunal and it’s important to consider the fact that the High Court can sometimes be the more appropriate venue for disputes (such as, for example, high-value contract claims).
What do I need an employment solicitor for?
Specialist employment solicitors are, well, specialists. They know what to do, when, and how to do it. They’ll be able to tell you what claims they think you may have against your employer, how strong those claims are, how much the claims are worth, when the limitation dates for the claims are, how you can make your claims, and what you should expect out of the Employment Tribunal process. Importantly, they’ll generally also have a great deal of experience of representing clients in the Employment Tribunal – a crucial skill. Above all, they’ll be able to provide you with the expert employment law advice you need.
How do I know whether I need to use an employment law specialist?
This will depend on a number of things – including, among others:
- The facts and complexity of your claim
- Whether your employer has instructed solicitors (including who these are and how “aggressive” they are)
- Whether you feel confident enough to take the claim on
- Whether you have enough time to take the claim on
Will instructing an employment solicitor cost a lot?
Employment law is a competitive market and firms are aware that the internet means that consumers can shop around if they don’t like the prices they’re being quoted. Getting employment law advice can therefore be extremely cost-effective and you can generally tailor the service being offered to your requirements. Solicitors in the Employment Tribunal work on a variety of bases – from “no win no fee” to fixed fee to hourly rates.