Being taken to an employment tribunal is quite a daunting process that no employer wants to experience, so you should do everything in your power to avoid this situation from arising.
But often, even if you remain compliant, stick by the law and treat employees fairly, you can still find yourself being taken to court.
The best thing you can do if you have found yourself in this unfortunate situation is to prepare as much as possible and understand what the lead up to the tribunal entails.
Before the tribunal takes place, you may be contacted by ACAS who will see if you wish to reach a settlement with the claimant and avoid having to go to court, which is known as pre-claim conciliation. Should a settlement be reached the terms will be put in writing, usually by ACAS, which then acts as a legally binding contract to end any disputes on mutually agreed terms without having to go to court.
Additionally, there may be a preliminary hearing where you can find out a little more about the actual tribunal.
You’ll be told by the judge when the tribunal will be taking place, how long it should take and whether you will need to give evidence or provide any more information.
There may also be potential to reach a settlement with the claimant and avoid having to go to court at all.
If this happen it must be put into writing which acts as a legally binding contract to end any disputes on mutually agreed terms without having to go to court.
If this doesn’t work and the tribunal still goes ahead, then you must prepare your case and your evidence.
This means checking, updating and collating all paperwork and documents relevant to the case including evidence e.g. payslips or contracts.
Don’t forget to also do your research!
This is extremely important and can be the difference between winning or losing the case. By understanding the case being made against you, and possibly even tracking down similar cases, you may be able to get one step ahead.
You want to step into the tribunal feeling confident and informed so that you are well-prepared and more likely to walk away with a positive result.
You will also need to ensure that you have the correct details of any potential witnesses that can support your case. You may need to provide a written witness statement so ensure that they have sufficient time to put this together with care.
Finally, you should make notes for presenting your case as it can be easy to forget key points or dates if they have not been jotted down.
You may even need to provide a written statement yourself, so make sure you take the time to prepare a detailed and accurate account for the judge.
This is just a brief overview of what we advise you do before an employment tribunal. But if you require further support or assistance with ACAS Pre-Claim Conciliation or Tribunal representation then you can speak with one of our expert consultants. Just call 0845 2626 260 to book a consultation.