What is an employment tribunal?
An employment tribunal is a public body in England, Wales and Scotland which has statutory jurisdiction to hear a wide range of disputes between employees and employers. The most frequent disputes seen at employment tribunals include discrimination, unfair dismissal and concerns with wages or redundancy payments.
Employment tribunals are not as formal as a court hearing, but in a similar way to a court tribunals cannot give out legal advice, evidence is given under oath or affirmation and the majority of hearings are open to the public.
If a tribunal decides an employee has been unfairly dismissed, they will get compensation which is made up of:
- A basic award, which is a fixed sum and calculated to a statutory formula
- A compensatory award, which is to compensate them for the actual money you have lost as a result of losing their job.
The amount the employee will receive in an award depends on:
- How long the employee has worked for the company up to the date of dismissal
- How old you they are at the date of dismissal
- How much their weekly pay is before tax and national insurance are deducted.
The employment tribunal is able to order losing employers to pay a penalty in addition to any award made to the employee:
- If the tribunal concludes the employer has breached an employee’s rights, penalties may be payable to the Secretary of State
- The minimum amount for a penalty is £100 and the maximum is £5,000
- The penalty value will be half of the amount of compensation awarded to the employee, with a 50% discount for employers who pay their penalty within 21 days
- The employer’s ability to pay is considered by the tribunal when decided whether to order a penalty payment or not.
Defending employment tribunal claims specialists
Our defending employment tribunal claims specialists have a range of expertise to provide you with ongoing assistance, from initial enquiries relating to the claim, to the preparation for the tribunal. We will give you clear advice and inform you of the options available to you, but will act on your instructions - whether you wish to fight the claim or to engage with the opponent in an attempt to reach an early resolution of the matter.
We will give you a clear indication as to the level of costs you are likely to incur from the outset and give you a clear idea as to any risks and costs consequences you face in defending the claim. Our success rate in defending or resolving claims is very high and we provide an excellent service, aiming to take the stress out of the process leaving you free to concentrate on your other priorities.
If you have any queries about, or have received a claim please contact us on 0203 816 9302 or fill out our online enquiry form.