Employment Tribunal Solicitors

When taking a claim to the employment tribunal, it’s important to be supported by specialist lawyers to achieve the best settlement.

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    Employment Tribunal Solicitors

    If you have an employment dispute you cannot resolve via mediation, you may end up at an employment tribunal. Specifically designed to deal with employment claims, employment tribunals make legally binding rulings on unfair dismissal, discrimination, wages, and other employment-related issues.


    According to the Ministry of Justice, between January and March 2023:


    • 23,000 claims were received by Employment Tribunals
    • The most common type of tribunal claim made was for unauthorised wage deductions
    • There was a 39% increase in the number of multiple claims made (where a claim is brought by two or more individuals against the same employer).

    Where an employment matter has become litigious, there are benefits to dealing with the dispute at an employment tribunal. As well as being cheaper than formal court proceedings, claims heard at a tribunal tend to be resolved more promptly than via a civil suit (although the system is facing a backlog due to the Covid pandemic). 

    Do you require advice from employment tribunal solicitors?

    Our employment tribunal lawyers have years of experience advising and representing businesses, directors, senior executives, and employees on a wide range of employment tribunal claims.
    • Flexible funding –We provide an affordable service with various flexible payment options.
    • Specialist advice – We use all our skills and expertise to resolve your legal problems swiftly and satisfactorily.
    • Litigation experts – Our highly skilled litigation solicitors know what it takes to get a successful conclusion at an employment tribunal.
    • Industry recognition – Our clients and peers recognise us as a force to be reckoned with. Furthermore, we have been awarded the sought-after Lexcel Accreditation status which demonstrates our commitment to client care.

    Whatever employment dispute you face, we have the experience, aptitude, and talent to support you. Contact our employment tribunal solicitors today on 020 4586 4575 or complete the enquiry form on this page.

    Employment tribunal advice for employees

    If you are an employee dealing with a workplace dispute, our expert lawyers will discuss your options and present the pros and cons of each approach. To help you reach a satisfactory conclusion, we will:

    • Advise you on the strength of your grievance
    • Make sure you understand what happens at each stage of the process
    • Help you through the Acas early conciliation process*
    • Help you negotiate any offers made by the defendant to avoid the tribunal
    • Present your claim at the employment tribunal
    • Make an appeal (where appropriate).

    Employment tribunal advice for employers

    If you are an employer facing an employment tribunal claim – by one or multiple employees – we will support you through the process and help you to make the most robust defence possible. Our specialist employment tribunal lawyers will:
    • Advise on the strength of the case against you
    • Make sure you understand what happens at each stage of the process 
    • Advise on how best to avoid an employment tribunal (e.g. by offering a settlement agreement) 
    • Help you through the Acas early conciliation process*
    • Defend you at the employment tribunal
    • Make an appeal (where appropriate).

    *Before a claim can be made at an employment tribunal, the claimant must first tell Acas (The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.) Acas will then offer ‘early conciliation’ to allow both parties to settle the dispute without going to an employment tribunal.

    What types of cases do employment tribunals decide?

    Employment tribunals deal with a whole range of employment law disputes. For example, some of the most common types of employment tribunal claims made between January and March 2023 were:
    • Unauthorised deduction from wages (7,400 + claims)
    • Breach of contract (6,000 + claims)
    • Working time (5,900 + claims)
    • Unfair dismissal (4,600 + claims)
    • Redundancy pay (1,700 + claims)
    • Sex discrimination (900 + claims)

    Employment tribunals also rule on other matters; for example, those relating to additional forms of unlawful discrimination, victimisation, and detrimental treatment following protected disclosures (whistleblowing).

    Certain employment claims can only be heard at an employment tribunal (e.g. unfair dismissal and breaches of the Equality Act).

    An employee can bring most kinds of employment-related claims to a tribunal, even if they are still working at the company, but there are exceptions. For example, breach of contract can only be heard at an employment tribunal if their service has ended.

    Employment tribunals claims and ACAS early conciliation

    Before a claim can progress to an employment tribunal, the claimant must contact the  Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas). We recommend appointing an expert employment tribunal lawyer to support you at this time.


    Acas is an independent body that helps employers and employees reach amicable solutions to their employment disputes through free legal advice. Acas offers an early conciliation service to help resolve employment disputes. When Acas considers a case, a conciliation officer will listen to both sides of the argument and try to get both parties to reach an agreement.


    The time limit for making an employment tribunal claim is put on hold during the Acas early conciliation process. Employee’s may be entitled to interim relief during this time in unfair dismissal cases. If awarded, the employer pays the ex-employee until the case is decided. Interim relief is only available in very specific circumstances and we can advise you on this.


    If early conciliation does not work and a settlement is not agreed upon, Acas will send the employee an early conciliation certificate. This certificate is required before a claim can progress to an employment tribunal. There is a one-month time limit for claiming at the tribunal after this certificate has been received.


    In specific circumstances, a claim may be exempt from early conciliation. However, our employment tribunal lawyers can advise you on this during your free initial consultation.

    How to make an employment tribunal claim

    If you have been treated unlawfully by a current, former, or potential employer, we can help you make an employment tribunal claim.


    Start your claim 
    You can start your employment tribunal claim either online or via the post. Once the respondent (the employer) has received the claim form, they have 28 days to reply in writing with their response. The employment tribunal will use the claim form and the defence provided to decide whether a full hearing is required or whether to make a decision without a hearing. 


    The employment tribunal may reject a claim if the form is not completed correctly, the wrong form is used, or if the case has no reasonable prospect of success. As such, employees must make the most robust case possible, even at this early stage.


    Attend a preliminary hearing & gather evidence 
    If the case does progress, you may have to attend a preliminary hearing. At this stage, the judge will decide on the next steps and timeline for the claim. 

    You may be asked to provide specific evidence/documents related to the claim, and you can request the same from the other side. 


    As well as using the time before the employment tribunal hearing to collate the necessary paperwork, you should also apply it to ask relevant witnesses to attend the hearing and give evidence to support your case. If a witness does not want to attend voluntarily, you can ask the employment tribunal to order them to come.


    Discuss a settlement
    As well as building your case, it is common for your legal representatives to continue to try and settle your dispute before the tribunal hearing. In 2020/21 almost a quarter of all employment claims were settled out of court.


    Go to the tribunal 
    If a settlement is not reached, your case will go to an employment tribunal. The hearing could take place by phone, video or in person. At this stage, you should be prepared with all the necessary documentation. As your employment tribunal solicitors, we will ensure everything is in order and help present your case to the tribunal.


    While some cases are decided at the employment tribunal, this isn’t the norm. In most instances, you will receive the decision at a later date, usually within a few days or weeks. The decision will be published on GOV.UK


    If you win your case, the tribunal will order the losing party to remedy the situation. This might involve paying you compensation, improving your working conditions, or even giving you your job back. Awards vary depending on the type and circumstances of the claim. If you lose your case, you may be able to appeal.

    How long do you have to make an employment tribunal claim?

    In most cases, there is a three-month (plus one day) time limit for claiming at an employment tribunal. This deadline can be extended if both parties agree and some claims have a longer cut-off date. If you miss the deadline, you may still be able to claim via the civil court, as there is a greater time limit of six years.


    At Summit Law, we can advise on whether an employment tribunal is the best avenue for making a claim, or whether a civil suit would be more appropriate depending on the circumstances of your case.

    Defending an employment tribunal claim

    An employer can be taken to an employment tribunal by an employee, a potential employee, or by someone else (e.g. a trade union). Usually, the employer will learn about a potential employee claim when they receive an ET1 form.


    This document sets out what type of claim is being made, and why the employee has resorted to such action.  Once the ET1 is received, the employer has 28 days to respond with an ET3 form. The ET3 sets out the employer’s defence against the claim(s). It is essential not to miss this deadline.


    When defending an employment tribunal claim, expert legal advice is strongly recommended. Not just to help you make the best defence possible, but also to stop a bad situation from escalating. Employers also need legal advice to ensure they follow the correct rules and processes.


    If you are facing an employment tribunal claim, our expert lawyers will advise you on the merits of the case, establish what the employee would likely receive should the matter get to an employment tribunal, and discuss any possible options to end the dispute early (e.g. a settlement agreement).


    Should the claim proceed to a tribunal, we will make sure you have all the necessary evidence to support your case, work with your witnesses to ensure they are prepared, and defend your case robustly at the hearing.

    Employment tribunal costs

    You do not have to pay a fee to make a claim to an employment tribunal. Or to use the Acas early conciliation service. But there may be other costs involved. For example: 


    • Witness expenses
    • Expert witness costs 
    • Legal costs. 

    In employment tribunal cases, the loser doesn’t usually have to pay the winner’s legal fees. But there is always a risk of being ordered to do so. For example, if you lose your case and the tribunal decides your conduct was unreasonable or vexatious, you may have to pay some or all the other party’s costs.

    Likewise, if you reject a reasonable offer to settle the case, and the tribunal goes on to award less or the same as that offer, the other side might argue for costs, claiming that if you had accepted the offer, none of the subsequent costs incurred would have been necessary. Expert legal advice should prevent this from happening.

    Employment tribunal appeals

    If you lose your case – either as the claimant or defendant – you might be able to appeal. In England & Wales, you can either request to appeal your case to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) or the Court of Appeal

    However, you cannot appeal just because you are unhappy with the tribunal’s decision. Instead, you can only appeal in certain circumstances. For example, if you believe that the employment tribunal:

    • Got the law wrong or used the wrong law
    • Did not follow the correct procedures and this affected the outcome of the case
    • Was unfairly biased 
    • Did not provide suitable evidence to support its decision.

    To make an application for appeal to the EAT, you must ask for permission within seven days of receiving the decision from the employment tribunal. The EAT will review your case and decide whether an appeal is allowed. If it agrees to proceed, the EAT will set out the process and timescales for this to happen.

    To make an application for appeal to the Court of Appeal, you must ask for permission within 21 days of being told you lost your case. If you’re refused permission to appeal by the EAT, you can ask the Court of Appeal to reassess your case. You can find more information on the EAT appeal procedure here. 

    In very specific circumstances, you can appeal your case as far as the Supreme Court. But this usually only happens when a new point of law is being decided.

    Employment tribunal lawyer – FAQs

    Employment tribunals are hearings that rule on employment law disputes. People usually claim to the employment tribunal if they believe their employer has treated them unlawfully. A judge always chairs employment tribunal hearings. In some instances, the judge is supported by two lay individuals – one of whom has experience of the workplace from the perspective of an employer and the other with knowledge of the workplace from an employee’s perspective.
    No. As employment tribunals are independent, they do not favour employers or employees. Instead, they consider all the evidence before making a fair and unbiased ruling.
    If an employer loses an employment tribunal, they may have to remedy the situation. This could involve:
    • paying the affected employee(s) compensation
    • improving working conditions
    • giving the affected employee(s) their job(s) back 
    In some situations, the employment tribunal might also impose a financial penalty on an employer who loses a claim. This penalty is paid to the Secretary of State and is in addition to any compensation awarded to the affected employee(s). The fine is subject to an overall cap. If a claimant loses, they have 14 days to appeal (where relevant).

    Yes. Most employment tribunal hearings are held in public. So, the press and the public are free to attend. In addition, the employment tribunal’s decision will be published on GOV.UK. Anyone can access these judgments and read the reason for them.

    In employment tribunal cases, the loser doesn’t usually have to pay the winner’s legal fees.
    Yes. If an employee pays tax, they must pay tax on the money awarded. However, if they agree to a settlement agreement (rather than going to an employment tribunal), the first £30,000 is usually free of tax or national insurance contributions.

    Yes. If you are unhappy with the decision of an employment tribunal hearing, it may be possible to appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT).

    Cases are typically heard at the tribunal around six to nine months after being issued.

    However, the employment tribunal system is currently dealing with a backlog of cases following the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Reasons to choose our employment tribunal solicitors

    At Summit Law, we help employees make, and employers defend employment tribunal claims. Our qualified team is here to help, no matter how complex the issues or fraught the discussions have become.

    Getting to know you, your legal needs, and what matters to you, we are firmly on your side. So if you need help making or defending an employment tribunal claim, we’ve got your back. Here are some of the reasons why you choose instruct our employment lawyers in London.


    Swift resolution 
    To save time, disruption, and costs – we strive for a swift resolution of all employment tribunal claims. Where possible, we work to resolve cases before they get to a hearing – letting all parties move on to the next chapter. Where an agreement cannot be reached, our highly skilled litigation solicitors know what it takes to get a successful conclusion at an employment tribunal.


    Best possible results 
    Because we are employment law experts, we know what it takes to get the best possible result for you. Working for employers and employees alike, we anticipate the other side’s moves and use this knowledge to your advantage.


    Specialist employment law solicitors
    We specialise in providing employment law services to employers, senior executives, directors, and employees. Through expert legal advice, support, and representation, often on complex issues, our team assists with both contentious and non-contentious matters.


    Unrivalled client care 
    Our employment lawyers put each client’s needs front and centre with a personal and sympathetic touch. Our Lexcel Accreditation status recognises this commitment to client care.

    Contact our employment tribunal lawyers today

    Experience the expertise of Summit Law’s employment tribunal lawyers who can guide you through the employment dispute process with success. Our knowledgeable team not only resolves employee/employer quarrels, but also prevents them from escalating through a considered and sensitive approach. Trust us to handle your employment disputes effectively.


    We understand that the process can be overwhelming, so we’ll remove the jargon and keep you informed every step of the way. In addition, we provide a supportive and friendly environment to alleviate some of the stress.


    For all your employment tribunal claim needs, contact our lawyers at 020 7467 3980 or fill out our website enquiry form. We have the expertise, skills, and legal knowledge to assist you.

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