Employment Tribunal Claims & ACAS Early Conciliation

Knight-Webb Solicitors are experienced in handling employment tribunal claims (including complex, high-value discrimination claims) and representing clients in negotiating through ACAS. We have a good track record in winning cases.

The number of claims filed in the Employment Trbunal has recently surged following the abolition of Employment Tribunal fees. In this current litigious climate, employers should ensure that employee disputes and dismissals are properly handled.

Early Conciliation Representation

All individuals who want to bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal need to file a notice with ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) before their claim can proceed. Tribunal claims will not be accepted where the prospective claimant has not already contacted ACAS.

The aim of the process is to encourage settlement between the parties at an early stage to avoid tribunal proceedings.

If you are an employer who has been contacted by ACAS or an employee negotiating through ACAS, we are able to liaise with ACAS on your behalf and advise you on  the merits of the potential claim, an appropriate level of settlement and settlement terms. For example, if the employment has ended acrimoniously, an employer should consider whether to include a term that the employee will not make disparaging comments about the business whilst the employee may wish to insist on an agreed reference as part of the overall settlement to help in finding another job.

Claims in the Employment Tribunal

Tribunal Fees

Employment tribunal fees are no longer payable for filing claims in the Employment tribunal. This follows the judgment on 26 July 2017 of the Supreme Court in R (on the application of UNISON) (Appellant) v Lord Chancellor (Respondent) [2017] UKSC 51, which ruled the employment tribunal fees regime introduced in July 2013 as being unlawful. The number of employment tribunal claims has surged following the scrapping of tribunal fees, which has also caused delays in the listing of cases.

Time Limits

There are strict time limits for filing an ACAS Early Conciliation notice and an Employment Tribunal claim. For example, the time limit for filing an ACAS Early Conciliation notice for an unfair dismissal claim is three months less a day from the effective date of termination. For a discrimination claim, the time limit generally is three months less a day from the date of the act or omission complained of.

Costs

The general rule in employment tribunal proceedings (subject to exceptions, for example if a party has behaved unreasonably) is that each side pays its own legal costs, win or lose. The effect of this is that even if you win you are unlikely to be awarded your legal costs. It is important therefore to avoid incurring high legal costs: this is half the battle won. As we are a niche employment law practice, we are able to represent clients for a fraction of what many London law firms charge, with no compromise on quality of service.

Contact Knight-Webb Solicitors for Advice and Representation at the Employment Tribunal or ACAS Early Conciliation

Knight-Webb Solicitors is a specialist employment law firm. We are able to arrange appointments to see clients at their business premises throughout the London area. Please Contact Us on 0207 207 6195 or email sunita@knightwebb.com to discuss your requirements in detail.