Problems in the Workplace (Part II)
Last month we talked to you about problems you might face in the workplace, and how we can help you. Whether it you are claiming unfair dismissal or discrimination, the first thing you need to ensure, is that you are following your employer's procedures
You should try to go to any meetings that are arranged and use any appeal procedures that are available if:
· you’ve started your employer's complaints process
· your employer has started to take action against you (for example, about your behaviour, the quality of your work, your ability to do your job or your attendance)
An employment solicitor can look at papers with you and tell you what to ask at meetings.
Making a claim
You’ll need to set out the facts, in chronological order, and state what claims you’re making. It’s a good idea to get legal advice about this because there are many types of employment law claims, and rules on time limits are complicated.
Reaching an agreement
If you can reach an agreement with your employer without going to a tribunal, this can be recorded in a 'settlement agreement’. This is a legal document which confirms what you and your employer have agreed. It will mean that you’ll have to give up the legal claims against your employer.
Your employer will usually pay some of your legal costs as part of the agreement. By law you must get independent legal advice before this agreement is valid.
Settlement agreements often contain confidentiality clauses, sometimes called non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).
If you cannot solve the problem quickly with your employer, you may want to take it to an employment tribunal.
Your solicitor can help by preparing your case or representing you at the tribunal.
Employment tribunals consist of:
· an employment judge who will run the proceedings
· someone with relevant experience to represent the employer
· someone with relevant experience to represent the employee
It’s up to the tribunal to:
· apply the law
· decide whether your claim against your employer is correct (called ‘upholding the claim’)
Before the hearing, you may be offered judicial mediation, which gives you the option of reaching a settlement with an employer confidentially, without the need for a full hearing.
Most employment tribunal claims must be made within three calendar months of the date you were dismissed (that is, no later than three months less one day from the day you were dismissed allowing for any extension of time by ACAS Early Conciliation).
If you do have concerns related to an issue in your workplace. Please get in touch with us for advice.