Most of us try to avoid problems at work, however from time to time complications can arise and when a satisfactory outcome can’t be reached, the next step may be an employee tribunal (sometimes called an industrial tribunal). If you or someone you know is facing a tribunal, here are some common questions we get asked about them so that you can face them better prepared and know what to expect from the process. Here are your employment tribunal questions answered.
Why would there be a need for an employee tribunal?
If you feel like your employer or trade union has acted unlawfully, or if you feel you are owed compensation for something your employer has done to you, you may find yourself at an employee tribunal. There would be a need for a tribunal if there are disputes over pay, an unfair dismissal, or if you feel you have been discriminated against at work. If the matter can’t be resolved satisfactorily between employee and employer, the next step will be going to a tribunal hearing.
What are the main types of claim at an industrial tribunal?
Claims largely fall under the following categories:
- Discrimination on the grounds of age, gender, race, religion, disability or sexual orientation
- Breach of contract
- Issues over redundancy payment
- Unfair dismissal
- Minimum wage payments
- Working time regulations
- Unauthorised deduction from wages
Should you have a solicitor for a tribunal?
We would highly recommend that you use the services of a professional solicitor to represent you at the tribunal. You can help your solicitor prepare by giving them documents to support your case, including contracts of employment, payslips, emails or meeting notes. They will then build a case for you which will give you the best possible chance of winning your case.
What kind of things are brought up at a tribunal?
You, or your solicitor on your behalf, will present your case, and the defendant will present theirs. All the evidence will be discussed, and the judge may ask you questions which you should expect to answer.
How long does an industrial tribunal take?
The information gathering process is usually the longest part of the tribunal process. Defendants are normally given around 2 weeks to pull together their supporting information before attending the tribunal. In some cases a preliminary hearing will decide how long the hearing should take. Once you arrive at the hearing, both parties will present their evidence, and if you aren’t given a decision on the outcome there and then, it normally follows in the post a few days later.
What sort of outcome can be expected from an employee tribunal?
If you win your case, you may be entitled to compensation, however the final amount will vary depending on your individual case and the circumstances around it. Ask your solicitor about this and they should be able to provide you with an estimate, including how much the process is likely to cost you.