Employment tribunals deal with many claims that an employee can bring against their employer about their employment or its termination.
The relationship between an employer and their employee is governed by contract and statute created by Parliament. Most statutory rights can only be enforced in the employment tribunal, whereas the employment tribunal can only deal with some contractual matters.
Examples of claims dealt with by the employment tribunal are:
- Unfair dismissal claims
- Discrimination claims
- Equal pay claims
- Unlawful deductions from wages claims
In July 2013, the Government introduced fees for the first time in employment tribunal cases, however in July 2017 the fees were ruled as 'unlawful' by the Supreme Court and were quashed with immediate effect.
Although employers can represent themselves in employment tribunals, the specialist Employment Law solicitors at Banner Jones can help maximise your chances of successfully defending a claim made against you. Employment tribunals have complex rules and the chances of winning or losing depend on using the right tactics and knowing how to present your case. We have many year’s experience representing both employers and employees before the employment tribunal which gives us the ability to ensure that we see both sides of the argument and know how best to present your case to give you the best chance of winning.
An employee left over 5 months ago and threatened to sue? We haven’t heard anything does this mean they have not made a claim?
An unfair and constructive dismissal claim must be made within three months of the date of termination of employment. It is unlikely that a claim out of time will be allowed to proceed.
However if you were to receive an ET1 form out of time in relation to a former employee you should look to return it but state that the claim is out of the time. You should also request for a preliminary hearing to determine the issue that the claim is out of time.
The Employment Tribunal has the discretion to extend the time if the employee is able to show that it was not practical to present the claim within the 3 months.
If we agree on a settlement outside of court is there any way in which we can prevent the employee from coming back to make another claim?
Yes if you reach a settlement through ACAS you are able to go for a legally binding agreement which states that neither side are able to come back later for a second bite of the cherry.
The other option is for you to get a settlement agreement under which the employee waives his or hers statutory rights in return for an agreed settlement which they have received independent legal advice. If an employee was to accept such a settlement it would make it impossible for them to return for another go.
Settlement agreements have to be drafted carefully as various legal decisions on the effectiveness or scope of a particular settlement agreement have in the past gone against employees based on the precise wording in the agreement.
If we get rid of a fixed retirement age altogether and need to get rid of someone of the age of 69 does this mean we could get done for unfair dismissal?
In theory yes however you are unlikely to be sued for unfair dismissal if you retire an old worker if it can be justified and you have followed the correct procedures.
What are the conditions of age discrimination?
In 2011 legislation new legislation was introduced making it unlawful to treat anyone differently due to their age except if it could be justified or falls within one of the exemptions to the law. The retirement age of 65 has now been phased out meaning employers can now only forcibly retire workers if it can be justified.
What year did the requirements of age discrimination come into effect?
The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations came into effect in October 2006. The retirement age of 65 was phased out between April 2011 and October 2011.