What is an Employment Tribunal?
Employment Tribunals are independent public bodies that hear and pass judgement on cases of dispute between employers (known as respondents) and employees, potential employees (for example job applicants) or even organisations such as trade unions (known as claimants). They tend to deal with disputes surrounding unfair dismissal, pay, redundancy and discrimination, although there are many other sorts of cases that can be heard. Nearly all legal cases about employment are heard in Employment Tribunals.
It goes without saying that the best way to avoid an Employment Tribunal is to not receive a claim in the first place…
Avoiding Employment Tribunals
There are many steps you can take to reduce disputes in the workplace and protect your position. Companies that enjoy good Employee Engagement tend to see less disputes with their staff. Developing a team of committed, loyal and motivated employees, and a culture of communication and inclusion within your business will help to resolve potential areas of disagreement before they become an issue.
Equally, comprehensive and robust Contracts of Employment and Employee Handbooks clearly outline what you require of your staff, what they can expect from you as their employer and what process to follow should they be unhappy. Clear Grievance Procedures that possibly include Mediation can often resolve workplace disputes before they escalate.
However, as an employer, disagreements with employees over fundamental issues will sometimes be unavoidable. Employment Tribunals are seen as a “last resort” and tend to occur when all other forms of reconciliation have failed. If a claim is made against your business, you will be contacted by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS). Through a process known as “conciliation”, ACAS will offer to work with you and the claimant to resolve the issues without going to a Tribunal.
If this fails, and the claimant meets the required conditions, then you will be served with a claim.
What to do if you someone makes a claim against you
Speak to us. It doesn’t matter what stage you are at, we can help. Employment Tribunals can be emotional, stressful and expensive and it pays to receive expert advice and manage the process correctly. At RFHR we provide a range of services designed to not only protect your position but also take away the worry.
If you are struggling with an employment issue, need help managing a workplace dispute or may become involved in an Employment Tribunal, get in touch. Our expert HR consultants can start to help you straight away.