Employment Law Tribunals vs The Small Business
No company, big or small, is exempt from the potential threat of an employment law tribunal. But for the owners of smaller businesses the threat could affect their entire livelihood due to the financial consequences that may result.
However, there are certain ways that a small company can lessen the chances of a tribunal loss; namely by being fully prepared for the tribunal long in advance of the day.
The following are a few of the best ways to ensure that you're ready for all aspects of an employment law tribunal.
Analyse every detail of the case
Having a wide knowledge of the employment law legislation you're facing is vital, as you need to supply your solicitor with as much information of the case as possible, so they can judge how to prepare their strategy most effectively.
Make certain that all materials you need to support your case, such as documents and statements, are ready well in advance so you are best prepared for any line of questioning the prosecution explores.
When it comes to the materials of your defence, you are required to present the claimant's council with all documents you intend to use at least seven days before the tribunal date.
Be meticulous in your analysis of the events leading up to the claim and trace every bit of interaction between you and the employee to make sure you don't overlook something that could prove vital to your case. This could mean the difference between winning and losing.
If you have trouble understanding a particular area of UK employment law legislation, consult the UK government website where all UK tribunal laws are explained.
Urge an alternative hearing
It may be easier for both parties if you settle the case outside of a tribunal. Suggesting an alternative is not a sign of weakness but rather shows that you're willing to be fair and are prepared to compromise.
This is also a beneficial alternative for the employee as claimants are now liable for the full tribunal fee; a requirement implemented in July 2013.
There are also employment relation organisations that can help solve legal affairs independent of the tribunal system, and are able to negotiate a settlement through interaction with the employment law solicitors of each side.
Be sure to rehearse the day with your employment law solicitor in order to review every area of the case.
This might include participation from witnesses. If so, make sure they are fully aware of what will likely be asked of them, and give them plenty of time of preparation time.
Should you find a witness refusing to give evidence, you can legally bring them to a tribunal by serving them with a 'witness order' through the courts.