Providing a well-prepared and robust defence at an employment tribunal, if an employee brings a claim against you

  • Defending a claim at an employment tribunal can be time-consuming, costly and potentially damaging to your reputation.
  • If you are unable to negotiate a settlement beforehand, you will need to have a well-prepared case with all the necessary evidence.
  • We can save you time and stress by expertly preparing your case, ensuring all the correct procedures are followed and representing you at the tribunal.

When an employee brings a claim against your business and you are unable to negotiate a settlement, you will have to defend it at an employment tribunal. Defending the case can be very time-consuming and of course, you still need to focus on running your business. Having a claim brought against you could also damage your business’s reputation.

It is vital to ensure you follow the correct procedures. We will provide expert advice and support throughout the process and do everything possible to mitigate any damage which may be caused.

What is an employment tribunal?

An employment tribunal is an independent tribunal for resolving disputes between employees and employers. This can include disputes over pay, working conditions, redundancy, and discrimination. Employment tribunals are designed to provide a relatively informal and inexpensive means of resolving disputes and can be a useful alternative to taking legal action in the courts.

How Moore Barlow can help

We will work hard to negotiate with the employee and their lawyers to reach a settlement if appropriate. If we are unable to reach a settlement, we can still present the employee with a last-minute settlement just before the hearing. We will discuss this offer with you first, and ensure it provides the best chance of a settlement.

If a last-minute settlement is agreed, the tribunal will often offer to record its terms of the settlement so you have proof of the deal should you need to refer to it later. We can help you with this process.

An employment tribunal can seem stressful, as you will probably have to speak to provide your evidence. We can eliminate much of this stress by ensuring you are fully prepared beforehand. Our expert employment solicitors will complete all the case preparation, draft the legal documentation, draft witness statements and act as your representative at the tribunal.

For information about our MooreSure employment claims protection read here.

We have offices in Southampton, London, Woking, Guildford, Richmond and Lymington. Contact us today for expert advice and support.

Frequently asked questions

An employment tribunal is a hearing to make a decision about an employment dispute and is used to resolve legal cases such as claims of unfair dismissal, discrimination or other unfair treatment brought by the employee. The tribunal is independent and their decision is legally binding.

Before an employment tribunal, you should ensure that you have any written records of what has happened. You might also need other documents that relate to the employee who has brought the claim, such as their contract, pay slips and salary details. If you have any letters, emails or text messages that relate to the situation or claim, these should also be ready for the tribunal as part of your evidence to defend the claim.

Your solicitor will make sure that you have everything ready for the tribunal and understand exactly what to expect during the hearing itself.

Depending on the situation, the main employment tribunal hearing could last for a few hours, or several days. Once you arrive at the location for the employment tribunal, you will be given an area to wait that is separate from the employee and their representatives and will be called into the hearing when the tribunal is ready to start.

In some cases, you may wish to offer the employee a last minute settlement via their solicitor. If this settlement is agreeable, the claim can be settled without the need to progress with the full tribunal. If there is no last minute settlement, the tribunal will go ahead as planned.

There are three tribunal panel members who will hear all of the evidence and make a final decision on the situation. In some cases, a single employment judge will instead rule the proceedings on their own.

The statements for each side will be made and the evidence presented, along with any witness statements. Either side may be asked questions on their evidence by the judge or the other party’s legal representative.

Once all of the evidence has been heard and any closing submissions are made, the tribunal panel or judge will tell you whether their decision will be made the same day or whether they will make a decision at a later date. If the latter, the decision will be sent to you in writing.

An experienced employment law solicitor will help ensure that you are fully prepared to defend an employment tribunal and ready for whatever happens during the hearing. They will take an active part in proceedings when representing you and presenting your evidence, and may also cross-examine your employee or their witnesses, to clarify any facts.

At Moore Barlow, our expert employment law team have a proven track record of successfully defending employment tribunals and can give the specialist support that you need throughout the entire process.