Employment and discrimination

We act for private individuals, businesses, charities and professional bodies.

We advise and represent individual employees over matters vital to their daily lives, careers and professional standing, often with regulatory implications.

We also support businesses and other employers in a range of activities.
In the event that an employment matter becomes contentious, we have experience both in bringing and defending employment cases.

Where a dispute arises, most cases are resolved are through negotiation and agreement. The possibility remains, however, that a matter may have to be taken to the Employment Tribunal and reach a final hearing. Costs are not normally awarded for or against parties in Employment Tribunal proceedings and therefore there needs to be a careful assessment of the net returns which may be recovered. The taxation of compensation will also relevant, with certain advantages being available upon agreeing terms.

The merits and value of a case will normally have to be reviewed as the case develops, for example, if a client in seeking to mitigate their losses finds new employment which produces a significant income, this will reduce their losses and the value of a claim.

What we do for you

In the event that an employment matter becomes contentious, the scope of our work will normally involve:

  • Taking your detailed instructions, reviewing the documents and advising you on the merits of your case and the possible compensation which an Employment Tribunal is likely to award;
  • Correspondence with other parties and engaging in the compulsory conciliation service provided by ACAS;
  • Reviewing and advising on the claim and the responses from the other parties;
  • Preparing a chronology and a list of relevant individuals;
  • Setting out your losses in a schedule of loss;
  • Engaging in settlement discussions and advising upon possible private mediation;
  • Preparing for and attending any preliminary hearings, including case management hearings;
  • Compiling and reviewing the documents and evidence and examining the material produced by the other parties;
  • Agreeing a joint bundle of documents for use at hearings, whether related to liability or compensation;
  • Drafting witness statements cross-referencing the relevant documentation.
  • Reviewing the other parties' witness statements and the effect which these may have upon the prospects or value of the claim;
  • Preparing and delivering a brief to Counsel including witness statements and other evidence;
  • Attending the final hearing and potentially hearings for assessment of compensation.

The time taken by the process

The length of an employment claim depends on whether the matter is resolved by agreement or proceeds to a hearing. Negotiations for settlement can take place at any time and we strongly recommend the use of mediation and negotiation in appropriate cases.

The time limit for bringing claims is normally 3 months from the date of the dismissal or the other act which forms the basis of a claim, plus one month to 6 weeks for early conciliation through ACAS.

Early conciliation must be started within 3 months and must involve any relevant potential Respondent.

If a case is not settled through early conciliation or negotiation, the Employment Tribunal process is likely to take between 6 to 12 months to complete. A relevant factor is the number of claims before an Employment Tribunal at any time as this can slow down the process.

For a discussion about your requirements please call us on 0114 275 6763.