Employment Tribunal Representation

If you believe you have been the victim of unfair dismissal (constructive or otherwise), or have any other employment law issue, you can make an application to an employment tribunal. This can be submitted as soon as your employer has dismissed you, and in some cases, prior to dismissal.

It is extremely important that you first seek specialist legal advice for the following reasons:

  • The procedure leading up to the hearing can be complex
  • The application will need to properly set out in detail the grounds of your complaint.
  • There is a strict time limitation and you must have completed ACAS Early Conciliation before you can make the application to the Employment Tribunal and you must have completed  ACAS Early Conciliation before you can make the application to the Employment Tribunal.
  • The most relevant aspect of your case may not receive sufficient consideration by the Tribunal if not correctly set out by a specialist employment law solicitor.
The solicitors at Clough & Willis have helped hundreds of individuals across Bolton and Bury get the outcome they deserve following an unfair dismissal.  To discuss your circumstances with a legal specialist, contact us by calling 0800 083 0815, or fill out an online enquiry form and we will get back to you.

Time Limitations

In most instances, the application must be received by the Tribunal within three months of the date of termination of employment or three months from the date of the incident in question. You must have completed ACAS Early Conciliation before you can issue your application. If you haven’t done this the Tribunal will not accept your claim.

If the application is received later than the three month deadline an Employment Tribunal will consider the complaint only if they believe it was not reasonably practicable for the employee to submit the claim within the time limit. This is an extremely difficult test to satisfy.

However, regarding complaints of unlawful discrimination the Tribunal has discretion to extend the three month deadline if it considers, in all the circumstances it is just and equitable to do so. The approach to such time limits can be more lenient.

Nonetheless, it is imperative that the time limits are observed.

This is an extremely complex area of law and we strongly advise that advice is sought before a claim is commenced.

Procedure

The employer will receive a copy of the application and a form called a Notice of Appearance along with a copy of a booklet explaining employment tribunal procedures. The employer must complete the form, stating whether they wish to contest the case, and if so, detail their grounds.

Each party may request further particulars of the other's case. It is very important these forms are accurately completed and with full details of the basis of their view of the facts. These statements form the legal basis of each parties position and are not a box ticking exercise.

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) is available to assist in settling any dispute outside of the employment tribunal hearing. However, it is important to note that conciliators cannot give advice as the claim.  Both party's need professional advice before and during any such approach is made.

Prior to a full hearing of the claim there may be directions hearings to determine procedure. These can take the form of a Case Management Conference whereby the issues of the case are confirmed and Orders/Directions are made which set out how the case should proceed (such as the dates to disclose documents and exchange witness statements). If Orders are given by the Tribunal it is vital to comply with them as failure to do so could result in the claim / defence being struck out.

There may also be a preliminary hearing to determine whether or not the Tribunal has jurisdiction to hear part, or all, of the claim. If listed for such a hearing, it is vital proper preparation is made and preferably specialist representation.  If this hearing is lost the case may not proceed.

If the complaint is not settled, a full hearing may take place, where both parties must attend.  A tribunal may dismiss the application if the complainant fails to attend without reasonable explanation. Alternatively, the case may be heard in the absence of that party and their case not fully stated and oral evidence provided.

The Employment Tribunal is usually presided over by a chairman who is at least seven years legally qualified and two lay members - one from an employer based background (usually HR/Personnel Manager) and the other from a trade union background.

Whilst it is possible to represent yourself and put forward your own case, many people and certainly employers choose to appoint a representative who will be a specialist employment law solicitor, trade union official, or representative of an employers' organisation.

By attending the hearing you will be given the opportunity to forward your case. The tribunal panel and the other side may ask questions.  Hearings are generally completed in one day, although some cases, particularly discrimination cases may take a lot longer.

Legal proceedings such as these generally announce their decision and the reasons on the day. If the decision is given to the parties on the day, written reasons will only be supplied if requested at the hearing or in writing within 14 days of the decision. The Court aims to supply the reasons within six weeks of the request.

You can ask for a review of the decision of the employment case and also to appeal against the tribunal's decision. If you wish to appeal against a decision it is advisable to contact an employment law specialist such as myself if you have not done so already.

Employment law clinic

We provide a free employment law clinic for employees between 14.00 and 17.00 every Monday. In the free 20 minute appointment we will be able to assess and provide a realistic appraisal of your claim.  To make an appointment call us on the above free phone number.

Get in Touch

Speak to a member of our highly qualified team by calling 0800 083 0815, or fill out an online enquiry form and we will get back to you.