Employment Tribunals Are Now Free

Posted on
business contracts

Have you been treated unfairly at work? Perhaps you have been subjected to direct discrimination by an employer or you think your wages have been unlawfully deducted? Last year Employment Tribunal fees were abolished, making it easier for you to claim against your employer, so there is no better time than now to contact our solicitors about your case. Our specialist team will look at your circumstance and provide professional advice on whether it is worth your while to go to Tribunal. There are several reasons you may have a case to take to an Employment Tribunal, they are;

Discrimination
Clients usually come to us because they have faced one of two forms of discrimination: direct or indirect. You may have experienced direct discrimination if your employer has treated you less favourably than another employee due to a protected characteristic, such as gender, ethnicity or disability. Alternatively, you may have experienced indirect discrimination if a provision, criterion or policy has put you at a disadvantage to others. For example, if a new job position requires you to have 5 GCSE’s and does not accept any equivalent qualifications it could be indirect age discrimination.

There is no longer any charge for filing a claim with the Employment Tribunal whereas prior to July fees were at £1,200. If you feel like you have been a victim of workplace discrimination, speak to our team of legal experts to find out your entitlements. We will invite you to our offices for an informal interview to look at your case in detail. At this stage it is useful if you can bring any relevant documentation with you – things such as early written grievances, letters, former appeals or wage slips. We will usually advise early conciliation (a free service) before taking the case to tribunal, which can often help to resolve the dispute.

Unfair Dismissal
Similarly in cases involving claims of unfair dismissal there is no longer any charge for the filing of the claim. This means that if you have worked for your company for at least 2 years you now have a much greater opportunity to challenge dismissals. Dismissals can be challenged if you believe that the correct procedure has not been followed in making the decision or the reason for the dismissal does not come under one of the statutory reasons.

The reasons are;

  • Not being able to do your job properly
  • Illness (which makes it impossible for you to do your job)
  • Redundancy
  • Summary dismissal (for gross misconduct)
  • A statutory restriction
  • If it is impossible to carry on employing you
  • A ‘substantial reason’

The employer should follow the correct procedure, which means that they;

  • Can show that they have a valid reason that they can justify
  • Can show that they have acted reasonably in the circumstances
  • Are consistent (for example with every member of staff)
  • Have investigated the situation fully before dismissing you

Unlawful Deduction from Wages
Under the old regime it would have cost you £160 to issue a claim of unlawful deductions from wages and a further £230 for a hearing fee. Since the fees have been scrapped the Employment Tribunal has received the highest increase in applications for this type of case. Between July and September 2017 there was a 64% increase in the number of claims received. In the North East alone the number of claims received was nearly 4 times higher in August 2017 than in July. Clearly the removal of fees has improved the access to Tribunals for employees and will continue to do so in the future.

If you have experienced any unfair treatment at work – perhaps your hours have been reduced following maternity leave or you have faced harassment from fellow employees which has not been effectively dealt with – get in touch to find out whether it is worth pursuing your case. You can speak to a member of our team by dropping into either of our main offices, giving us a call on 01642 754050 or emailing us at enquiries@punchrobson.co.uk.

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