By law all employees must have either a written Contract or a written Statement setting out the main terms of employment. We can help provide well drafted Contracts to help minimise the risk of dispute.
Employment Dispute Resolution Services
Acting for both employers and employees we recognise the need to resolve employment disputes as quickly, sensibly and economically as possible, allowing business owners to concentrate on running their business and employees to get on with their lives free from the stress of conflict at work.
As a long-established firm in Kendal and Windermere, THW Legal solicitors excel in providing trusted advice to businesses and individuals in the South Lakes. Our experienced Dispute Resolution team are on hand to give advice to employers and employees regarding all matters of employment law, from disciplinary procedures and dismissal tribunals to handling redundancy and employment contracts.
Looking for help? Get in touch today for a free, no obligation discussion about your employment circumstances.
For more information on resolving disputes in the work place please see our Business Disputes page.
Employers - click here for our Handy Employment Facts Sheet
How Can We Help?
Please choose from the below list of employment dispute resolution services to see how we can help you to overcome your work related issue.
It is advisable for all employers to have a Staff Handbook containing a comprehensive set of rules, policies and procedures to ensure, amongst other things, that staff understand what is expected of them. We can help produce such a handbook.
All disciplinary proceedings need to be conducted fairly and in accordance with the ACAS Code of Practice. We can advise employers to help minimise the risk of any claim being brought as a result of a disciplinary process and can advise employees in relation to their rights if proceedings are brought against them.
All employers must have fair staff grievance procedures to deal with complaints by employees which need to be conducted in accordance with the ACAS Code of Practice. We can help employers draw up a suitable grievance procedure and explain how any grievances should be dealt with. We can also help employees formulate any complaints they may have regarding their employment.
An employee is redundant if he becomes surplus to his employer's requirements. Redundancy situations can be difficult for employers to manage, and distressing for the employee concerned.
It is important that redundancy situations be managed according to fair procedures. We can advise employers how they should handle redundancy situations, and can advise affected employees of their rights during the process (including any right to a redundancy payment).
A Settlement Agreement (formerly known as a Compromise Agreement) is a Contract which sets out the terms on which an employee will leave his or her employment. It is produced when the employer and the employee have agreed that an employee will leave and invariably involves the payment of compensation to the employee. A Settlement Agreement is the only way that an employer can ensure that a claim will not be lodged with the Employment Tribunal following the termination of employment. We can draft Settlement Agreements for employers and advise in relation to the terms that should be included and can advise employees who are asked to sign such agreements by their employers.
Sometimes employers feel that they have no alternative but to dismiss employees. In some cases this is justified, in others it is not. It is always best for employers to take advice before dismissing an employee. As a general rule employees with two years’ service have the right to claim Unfair Dismissal if they are dismissed without good reason or if the employer does not follow a fair procedure. Sometimes an employee can resign and claim what is called constructive dismissal. Again an employee should take advice before taking such a step. In such circumstances the employee will be able to pursue a claim through an Employment Tribunal. We can help with this whether you are an employer or an employee.
If an employee has been dismissed without receiving the correct period of notice (which will be determined by the employee’s contract of employment and length of service) he or she will have the right to claim wrongful dismissal. Again we can help.
The first step before bringing a claim at Tribunal is for the employee go through the early conciliation process operated by ACAS. ACAS will try to settle matters between employer and employee but if this is unsuccessful and the employee decides he or she wants to take things further a claim will have to be brought at an Employment Tribunal. There is a strict time limit of three months less one day within which an Unfair Dismissal claim needs to be lodged.
Employment Tribunal claims generally take between 6 and 12 months to reach a conclusion and a number of preliminary steps(including a preliminary hearing called a Case Management Hearing) usually need to be taken to get the matter ready for a final hearing. We can help you with all of this and can represent you at the final hearing whether you are an employer or an employee.
If the Employment Tribunal finds that an employee has been Unfairly Dismissed it can order the employer to take back the employee but more commonly it awards compensation. Wrongful Dismissal claims result in compensation fixed at the amount of notice pay the employee would have received had he or she been given the correct notice.
What will it cost?
Most of our work is conducted on a payment by hourly rate basis but sometimes we are prepared to act under a legal expenses insurance policy which may form part of, for example, a home insurance policy. We also offer an initial fixed fee interview for £100 plus VAT although this price does not include any further work which may be necessary following that meeting. We do not offer a no win, no fee service.
Our hourly rate as of 1 January 2021 is £223 an hour plus VAT (£267.60 in total)
A good proportion of cases settle without the need for a hearing but the typical cost of representation in Employment Tribunal for Unfair Dismissal claims is usually around £6000 plus VAT plus barrister's fees and other disbursements for straightforward cases requiring a single Case Management Hearing conducted by telephone, involving no complicated legal issues and concluding at a single hearing lasting no more than a day.
Complex cases, cases which require a number of preliminary hearings or applications and cases lasting more than a day are likely to cost around £10,000 plus VAT plus barrister's fees and disbursements.
Wrongful dismissal claims are likely to cost between £2000 and £5000 plus VAT plus barrister's fees and disbursements unless they are particularly complex.
We will provide a more detailed estimate of likely costs at the beginning of each case. For this we will:
- take your initial instructions
- prepare the initial documentation and lodge it with the Tribunal
- arrange for an attendance at a preliminary hearing
- prepare a schedule of loss if acting for an employee or a response to a schedule of loss if acting for an employer
- deal with disclosure of relevant documents
- prepare a bundle of documents for the final hearing or liaise with an opponent in relation to its preparation
- prepare witness statements and any other pre-hearing documents ordered by the Tribunal
- instruct a barrister to appear on your behalf when the case is decided.
Please note that the estimate set out above does not cover the cost of the barrister’s representation at the final hearing. The cost of the barrister will depend on the complexity of the case and the level of experience of the barrister who is instructed and will generally range between £500 to £2500 plus VAT for a hearing or preliminary hearing lasting no more than a day. We will provide you with a fixed price for the barrister before he or she is instructed.
Sometimes it is also necessary to pay money to third parties (although there are no longer fees to pay for Employment Tribunal claims)in order to deal with the case properly and full details regarding this will be provided to you before the expense is incurred.
Please be aware that it is only in a small minority of cases that legal costs are recoverable from an opponent in Tribunal proceedings. This generally means that it is only economic to instruct solicitors on an hourly rate basis if the amount of compensation claimed significantly exceeds the likely costs.