Unfortunately, some employment matters cannot be settled between an employee and an employer themselves and so have to be heard at the Employment Tribunal. Naturally, if you are an employee in such a situation this can be a very worrying time for you, particularly given the costs involved in bringing a claim. While Employment Tribunals do not require you to be legally represented, having a legal advisor or representative on your side can be vital to help maximise the chances of a successful outcome for you.
The following are some of our most frequently asked questions when it comes to Employment Tribunals.
Yes, you do not need to be an employment lawyer to represent yourself at an Employment Tribunal. While employment tribunals are formal hearings and are always heard by an employment judge and (depending on the type of claim raised) an additional two lay members, they are still less formal than courts.
However, before making any decision to represent yourself at an Employment Tribunal, you should bear in mind the impact losing in the tribunal could have on your financial or professional position. While there is a cost to have a lawyer present your case at tribunal, having an experienced solicitor handling your case is more likely to get to the heart of your claim and bring about a successful outcome.
At Thorntons we are able to offer sound employment advice and tribunal representation at a reasonable and fair cost to you. We will discuss and agree to a fee with you at the start of your tribunal case.
Currently, there are two fees which you must first pay to the Employment Tribunal before it will hear any claim you bring: the claim fee and the hearing fee.
The exact amount you will need to pay for each of these fees varies depending on the type of claim you are bringing. For example, the tribunal fees for bringing an unpaid wages claim would be £390, but an unfair dismissal claim would cost £1,200 in tribunal fees. Essentially, the more complex or time consuming your claim is likely to be, the more costly it will be to bring to tribunal. Tribunal fees do not include the cost of legal representation.
However, the Employment Tribunal does operate a system of fees remissions for those on sufficiently low incomes and does agree to refund fees if certain criteria are met by you in terms of your finances and personal situation. Additionally, it may also be worth checking your home insurance cover as you may have legal expenses cover through your policy which may cover all or part of your tribunal claim costs. Legal aid is only available in complex cases.
If you are unhappy with the tribunal’s decision in your case, there are two options open to you:
There is a separate fee regime for appealing a claim at the Employment Appeal Tribunal.
We can talk you through the process involved in bringing a tribunal claim, and advise you on the prospects of success of any claim you are considering lodging as well as any non-tribunal options open to you for resolution. Additionally, we can make sure that at any tribunal hearing you are well represented and your case is put forward in the best way to maximise your chances of success.
Call us on 03330 430 350 to find out more about our services, or complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you.
Depending on your case and circumstances, the first step is usually to arrange an appointment to come into one of our local offices to meet an Employment Law Solicitor to discuss your situation and the way forward. We will outline your options and, depending on your circumstances, we can look at various funding options to help with your case costs.
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