Ever been to employment tribunal?(18 Posts)
I'm trying to formally resolve a complaint of unfair dismissal against my employer, however I suspect it will have to go to tribunal.
I've never been in this position before. What can I expect? Is it worth the stress? Are the results public knowledge, like criminal court proceedings?
Hi, I've been a witness (not sure if that's the right term) at a tribunal and although it was quite time consuming for the people involved, I think they did find it worth it.
You've probably already seen it, but this might help with some of your questions.
Sorry you've found yourself in this position and good luck with it; I hope you get a good resolution soon
Thank you both, I typed out a nice long message the other day, but have just seen that it's not here so I must have forgotten to press "send."
foodjunkie thank you for sharing. It's a mixed bag for me because although I really could do with some compensation, I also feel that my employer ought to be named and shamed as they currently enjoy a bit of a "holy" reputation, so I am hoping that it will go all the way!
I will pop back and let you know what happens (might be ages though, I am on this for the long game )
I had a similar experience with another very reputable Company. The Company was arguing I handed in my notice a few hours too early (as they didn't count the first day of my employment after returning to work after mat leave- long story, but jist is theywere trying to pull a fast one). I took legal advice - as they were claiming £13k in compensation from me - regardless of how long I was willing to work following handing in my notice. Definitely worth doing as there are a number of steps you have to take legally before getting to tribunal stage - and my Company ended up offering me a favorable settlement before this stage. I think firststep is internal complaints procedure. Pretty sure you can get free legal advice, can't remember where though as I paid for mine.
I haven't taken a claim, but professionally I have a lot of experience of employment tribunals. They are a formal court - you have to swear an oath, give evidence on a witness 'stand' (normally a small table) and may read your statement (or submit in advance and it is taken as'read). You will be cross examined by the company's solicitor and may be asked questions by the tribunal members. The outcome is a matter of public record. People do usually find it stressful unless they are completely chancing it. If you can get a reasonable settlement, I think that's usually preferable, unless the public validation is particularly important to you.
I supported my sister through a tribunal which she lost. It was incredibly stressful for all concerned. Employment tribunals are notoriously tricky, with a not very high rate of finding for the employee.
I have sometimes been in situations where I thought I was discriminated against. After seeing what my sister went through I would always think long and hard before taking full legal action, and have always explored all other options as fully as possible. I have found my union really supportive and helpful in all cases.
I wanted to go to one but my staff rep refused: I was being harrassed and was told I had a good case I lost my career as a result You have to think of your future
Also - check your home insurance as you may be covered for legal costs under it - think they fairly commonly cover employment disputes.
Only about 2% ever get to Tribunal and very few win according to the statistics. If you own your own home you won't get legal aid and to be honest it takes around a year of solid work and is very hard as they will have lawyers who will pull every trick in the book and you won't have anyone as witnesses will pull out along the way. I would do it though otherwise you will hate yourself and they will have won for your own self esteem you must at least try. But stress is a given, tears will flow you may well lose friends and partner as as it progresses you will become a legal bore. The union will let you down, side with them and try to settle unfavourably to be truthful noone wants to know and you will probably lose BUT but if you don't do it and it is a genuine case you will never forget it and it will colour the remainder of your life you must fight and you must win for yourself and for others. The law is good in this country if you have money and that needs to change but if people don't try then nothing will change so go to it.
Home contenst insurance does not normally cover for employment matters but have a look at both contents and buildings policies to be sure.
Employment tribunal is a stress and a huge cost and a lot of time and a lot of energy. If you can get a position somehwere else you'll be much better off doing that from nearly every angle such as your money, your life, your energy, your future.
If you've been persecuted at work, or very obviously illegally treated then I'd go to tribunal. If not then although it may seem that you're burdended with the unfairness, the actual position for you is that you'll be a whole lot better off in every respect.
You could put some details of your circumstance on a webpage, possibly here, or some other webpage where its anonymous and confidential, so you could get some views. But hurry up as there are time limits.
Here is a link if your circumstance is about redundancy
and look on this site for other info too.
I am presently going through a constructive dismissal, whistleblowing claim and have been for nearly three years. I have loads of documented evidence and believed it would be ok to represent myself seeing i have the truth and the proof.. The judgment did not go in my favour and they twisted all the facts. I have been researching to appeal on errors of law and have just won a preliminary hearing for a full EAT hearing only my skeleton argument that i spent forever on was not available to me and argument was not put through. I have seeked a review and amended notice of appeal but now believe i should have applied to the court of appeal in case my review does not go in my favour.
I threatened to take my last employer to the Tribunal, but actually it was a tactic to get them to settle with me for a modest amount. My boss had been horrendous and I did have all the elements of a constructive dismissal claim....but I also had another job offer. Going to tribunal would not have worked...al best it would have been a Pyrrhic victory.
I think you have to be very sure of what you are doing....it will be v stressful.
Why is it that so few claims are found I. Favour of the employee?
It's quite discouraging and a sad state of affairs if this is the last protection employees have in the UK. I doubt many go into it lightly, considering everything inc. costs. Why do t we just do away with any employment legislation and save everyone hassle and money?
Very few employees win because most employers will be professionally advised. If they are advised that they will lose or there is a good risk of it, they will settle before the case reaches a hearing. So the employee effectively "wins" and gets a payout, but the terms of settlement are usually confidential, so you rarely get to hear about these cases. The ones that fight are in most cases where the employer has a good strong case, hence why employees rarely win these. Of course, you will get some badly advised employers, or those who belligerently ignore the advice they are given, so it is not always the case that a case that reaches hearing is a good one for the employer.
So actually, most of the time, employment protections are working pretty well.
Exactly what eurochick said. If an employer is getting half decent advice (albeit after the event!) during a claim, and they think they may lose, or even if they don't think they'll lose but think it will be dragged out and expensive in legal fees, they'll settle.
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