Some facts for citizens about the process and procedures of employment tribunals

Blog4 - Some facts for citizens about the process and procedures of employment tribunals

Employment tribunals

There is a lot of uncertainty that goes through a person when they feel they are being discriminated against.  When you think about it discrimination is a form of abuse and as such a person’s natural response to it goes from thinking they were to blame, to feeling a form of shame and then or anger against their abuser.  A lot of people will just carry on taking the abuse for various reasons, one of which is that they do not really understand the process of the employment tribunal.

Here are some facts about employment tribunals to help get a better understanding of the process

  • What employment tribunals do
    The employment tribunals are there to mediate employment disputes.
    Cases of unfair dismissals, discrimination and redundancy are all heard in the employment tribunals.
  • Determining if you are eligible to make a claim to an employment tribunal
    Your problem must meet certain criteria in order for it to be able to be eligible for the employment tribunal.
    A dispute with your employer that you feel needs to be taken further is called a claim.
    It is best before logging your claim to seek some advice from various agencies that can help you on your legal rights before logging the claim
  • Acas should be your first step before logging the claim
    The first step anyone who wants to log a complaint should take is to call the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Services or Acas.
    They will start what is called an early conciliation.
    If this fails or you feel strongly that your claim should get to the tribunal a legal advisor will be able to assess the strength of your claim to see if it meets the criteria for the employment tribunal.
  • Fees
    There are no fees for making a tribunal claim. Anyone who has paid fees in the past can find out if they are eligible to claim them back at the Citizens Advice website.  The only other costs a person may incur is if they need to pay a legal counsel and it is only a very slim chance anyone would have to pay for the employer’s legal fees.  An employer does have the right to bring a counterclaim against you should the complaint be about a breach of contract.
  • The tribunal
    These are usually held in a tribunal room where there is a panel of three members of the tribunal called the tribunal panel. They will hear and decide on your case, they consist of a judge, a representative for the employer and a representative for the employee.These hearings are open to the public if you want to see what they are like.  They are much like court proceedings just not as formal.  The evidence is still taken on an oath and formalities are still in place about who speaks, etc.
  • Should you wish to withdraw your claim
    You are entitled to withdraw the claim should you feel your job is threatened or you have been advised to do so by your legal counsel.This can be done in writing to the tribunal, be careful with the timing of cancelling the tribunal as if the case has gone too far you could end up having to pay for your employer’s legal costs.

Conclusion

A lot of the time Acas can come to a settlement and end the dispute without your case having to go as far as the tribunal.

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