Tribunal Claims and Disputes with Employees

Our experts can provide employers with advice on Tribunal Claims & Disputes with Employees. Call 01202 525333 for a free no obligation quote.

Defending Tribunal Claims

Receiving a Tribunal claim can be very concerning and daunting for businesses. If you receive contact from ACAS, this can often be a warning that a Tribunal claim may follow if an agreement is not reached (however, the employee does not need to notify the employer).

We have extensive experience defending Tribunal claims, and can assisting you by preparing a strong defence to the claim. We can guide you through the process and assess the claim you have received, providing you with  advice on the prospects of defending the claim, and any settlement options that may be suitable.

Tribunal proceedings are a lengthy and time consuming process. There are strict rules of compliance, so the process needs to be engaged in and cannot be ignored.

We highly recommend you contacting us as soon as an ACAS notification or Tribunal claim is received, so we can advise you from the outset. Our specialist team of experts can provide clear advice and guidance throughout the Tribunal process.

Business Protection Clauses

You are entitled to protect your legitimate business interests after an employee’s employment has terminated. To do this, you will need to include post-termination restrictions (restrictive covenants) in the employee’s contract. Restrictions can last for a fixed amount of time, and can include preventing an employee from: working for a competitor (or setting up in competition), stealing customers, dealing with customers or poaching staff.

If these clauses are drafted too widely or unreasonably, they are unlikely to be enforceable against the employee, so it is very important that they are drafted with careful consideration.

We are experienced in preparing these clauses to ensure they are drafted to meet your businesses specific needs, and provide advice about the meaning and enforceability of any existing clauses for potential future employees.

Employment Status

It is very important to be clear on the employment status of those who work for you, as each employment status has different rights. Generally, your staff would be employees, workers or self-employed/contractors.

Employees enjoy the greatest amount of legal protection, including the right to a redundancy payment, SSP, protection from unfair dismissal and minimum notice periods.

Workers do not have the same rights as employees, but are entitled to certain rights including receiving minimum holiday and national Minimum Wage, protection from discrimination and whistleblowing.

Self-employed individuals, whether through their own limited company or as an individual, are generally not protected by employment law. However, they are still protected for health and safety.

Employment status claims are very common in the Employment Tribunal, which could lead to costly claims to defend. By establishing employee status early, and setting this out clearly in a contract to ensure there is no ambiguity, this can help to reduce the risk of any future disputes.

Employment support for buying or selling businesses – TUPE

A TUPE transfer usually occurs during business purchase or when a service is transferred to a new provider. If the TUPE Regulations apply, this affects both employers. Employees will automatically transfer to the new employer on the same terms, together with all associated liabilities.

It is important that the process is followed correctly, complying with all obligations, to ensure that there is no breach to the TUPE Regulations, which can attract Tribunal claims. There are obligations to inform and consult with employees, and for the old employer to provide specific employee information to the new employer.

There are restrictions on changing employee’s terms, and dismissing employees, if the sole or principal reason is the transfer. Such steps can give rise to costly Employment Tribunal claims.. There are various obligations for both the old employer and new employer, including the requirement to inform and consult with you about the transfer – failure to do so could lead to a Tribunal claim.

Our team can provide specialist advice on TUPE transfers, including advice on whether TUPE applies, guiding you through the process, identifying any risks and dealing with any issues that may arise.

Employment Settlement Agreements

During an employment dispute, settlement agreements can be useful negotiation tools. Often these are used during grievance processes where the employee does not want to remain employed, or in cases of poor performance.

A settlement agreement can be negotiated where an employee will agree not to bring a Tribunal claim in return for, usually, a compensatory payment. Such payment will depend on the assessment of the value of the potential claim, and the circumstances.

Our employment lawyers are very experienced in negotiating and drafting settlement agreements. We can also help to identify the appropriate stage to consider offering a settlement agreement.

While this can seem daunting, we can help and support you through the process. We will always help you to find the best possible outcome as quickly and cost effectively as possible.

Defending Tribunal Claims

Our specialist team of experts can provide advice and guidance regarding the employer process when presented with a tribunal claim.

Business Protection Clauses

Employers are entitled to protect their legitimate business interests and this may include seeking to prevent an employee working for a competitor, setting up on their own, stealing customers, dealing with customers or poaching staff. We are able to draft such clauses for employers and provide advice about the meaning and enforceability of existing clauses for potential future employees.

Employment Status

It is very important to be clear on the status of those engaged to work for you. It is possible that a person may be employed, a worker or self employed (whether through their own limited company or as an individual).

Employment support for buying or selling businesses - TUPE

Our team can provide specialist advice on what Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) – TUPE – does as well as when it applies.

Employment Settlement Agreements

An employment settlement agreement (previously called a compromise agreement) is the only way that an employer can be certain that an employee will not bring a claim against them.

Here to help

Our specialist teams can provide full service legal advice and assistance, providing practical and cost-effective solutions.

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