The Tribunal Process – Justice or Just Expensive?

Get in touch

We’re delighted to have been successful in two Tribunal cases for our clients recently.

Over the last two years we’ve seen Tribunal claims at an all-time high.  A common theme is that people underestimate the process and whilst advocacy and the preparation of the legal issues are extremely important, there is so much that you can do to assist in securing that “win”.

In many cases, settling is the right decision; avoiding the risks of the hearing, saving significant costs and often, most importantly, allowing you time to focus on your business rather than being distracted by the preparation for and the hearing itself. Whatever you decide, whether it’s to proceed to a hearing, or to settle before, there are some really important factors to consider that can make the process much smoother for you.

• Do seek advice before taking action. Whilst this doesn’t guarantee that a claim won’t follow, it puts you in a much stronger position to successfully defend it.

• Preparation is key. Make sure that your documents are in order and that you have acted in accordance with your policies. Notes of meetings, or emails confirming what has been discussed really help to set the scene.

• Ensure that the right people are involved at the right stage. Not only do you need to do this to demonstrate fairness, you should ensure that these individuals would be willing to give evidence and will be capable of scrutiny at the hearing.

• Don’t assume that the Tribunal has read every page of the bundle. They may have only read the key documents before the evidence is given. Your witnesses need to know what documents to refer to, what’s in those documents and to bring them to the Tribunal’s attention.

• Beware of data subject access requests. As part of the Tribunal process, you are under an obligation to disclose all relevant documents. Those who feel that you haven’t or who don’t trust you, may submit a data subject access request. What’s disclosed in response to that request should support your case and not undermine the documents or the evidence that your witnesses will be giving.

Tribunal proceedings are expensive and even if you’re successful it’s only in an exceptional case that you’ll recover your costs, sometimes however, a hearing can’t be avoided or you may feel that the business needs to defend spurious and unfounded allegations. With our expertise, we can help to get you the result that’s right for you and your business.

If you would like further advice or assistance with taking action in respect of your employees or any live Tribunal claims, please don’t hesitate to contact our Employment team.

(May 2022)