Claims from discontented employees are a worrying prospect for any employer. Even if the claim is completely unjustified, you face the disruption and costs of defending the case plus the risk of a substantial award against you.
Merits of the case
If you are notified of an employment tribunal claim, your first step is to assess the merits of the case and the grounds on which the claim is being made. There may be technical reasons why the claim should not succeed: for example, if the claim is not made within three months. If an employment tribunal claim is invalid or very weak, we might advise on applying for a pre-hearing claim to ask for it to be thrown out.
Assessing the risk
If there is a case to answer, our employment lawyers can work with you on deciding your approach and assessing the risks. It might be worth trying to negotiate an agreement between parties. Negotiation is often a more cost-effective approach than defending a tribunal case, even if you think you are in the right. Our employment lawyers can draft a suitable settlement agreement that addresses areas of concern specific to your business and protects it from future risks.
If you do decide to defend an employment tribunal claim, seeking expert advice form our employment lawyers at an early stage will help keep costs down in the longer term.
Mediation in the workplace is still considered by some a 'new' way of doing things but the idea of getting issues resolved without recourse to an employment tribunal is becoming more popular. Our employment lawyers seek to encourage parties to consider other forms of early dispute resolution, such as workplace mediation, to avoid ET hearings.
The latest trend of judicial mediation is a relatively new form of workplace dispute resolution where the proceedings at a tribunal are put on hold and the employment Judge becomes a mediator for the day instead. Judicial mediation can be offered by employment tribunals as an alternative way of seeking resolution without the need for a formal hearing. It is especially beneficial where the claimant is still employed by the employer.
Our lawyers have experience advising both claimants and respondents resolve their differences through mediation and are happy to discuss the process and its benefits with you in more detail.
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