Defending Employment Tribunal Claims
The conduct of legal proceedings in employment cases has developed radically in recent years moving from an informal arena involving low level financial claims, to a formal process resulting in costly litigation for businesses regardless of size. For example there is no limit on the compensation a court can award in discrimination and 'Whistleblowing' cases. Further, unfair dismissal claims can attract up to 1 year salary by way of compensation. Given that the right of appeal is limited, it is extremely important to recognise that in all probability you will only get 'one shot' at getting this right.
There are a number of elaborate steps which must be taken prior to the commencement of litigation. This includes the new statutory requirement to consider conciliation through ACAS prior to the issue of proceedings. Once proceedings have been issued, there are a number of pre-trial protocols that must be properly carried out, failing which proceedings can be struck out. It is crucial that any practitioner in this field is acutely aware of the range of statutory time limits relating to the bringing of claims, the defending of them, and the filing of critical documentation.