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EMPLOYMENT

Personal Employment Law

TMJ can advise on the following:

  • Unfair dismissal claims
  • Discrimination claims
  • Redundancy claims
  • Settlement agreements
  • Wages claims
  • Disputes and grievances with your employer

We have an experienced team of lawyers who can assist you with employment problems. We will undertake no win no fee work in suitable cases.

Our friendly team will offer an initial interview to discuss your problem.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

1. Is there a time limit for applying to an Employment Tribunal?

Yes, there is and a brief summary of the time limits is as follows:-

  • Unfair dismissal claims – 3 months from the date of dismissal. As an example, if you are dismissed on 30th March you must make an application to an Employment Tribunal on or before 29th June (3 months less than one day).
  • Unfair dismissal discrimination claims – the time limit again is 3 months but this time the time limit runs from the alleged act of discrimination.
  • Redundancy – the time limit for applying to an Employment Tribunal for a redundancy payment is 6 months from the date of dismissal.

The time limit can be affected if your claim is subject to the ACAS pre-action conciliation rules.

ACAS pre-action conciliation was introduced to try and resolve employment disputes quickly and effectively before the issue of any proceedings to the Employment Tribunal.

Before the Employment Tribunal can issue a claim you must have contacted ACAS and gone through a pre-action conciliation procedure and received a certificate from ACAS that you have done so. This certificate must be presented to the Tribunal before they will issue a claim.

In certain circumstances going to ACAS can extend the time limits for making claims. This is quite a complex area and TMJ will be able to advise you on your individual circumstances.

A settlement agreement is a contract that is used to compromise certain potential employment claims you may have normally following the termination of your employment. A settlement agreement is a contract between you and your employer normally containing provisions that you, the employee, will receive a payment from the employer in consideration of not taking any action in an Employment Tribunal or any other court against your employer.

Settlement agreements are normally enforceable as contracts and it is a legal requirement for the employee to receive independent legal advice. As a result of this, it is normal for employers to pay a contribution towards the employer’s legal costs in relation to a settlement agreement.

TMJ Legal Services are very experienced in advising on settlement agreements and try, as far as possible, to carry out any work that is required within the costs contribution set by the employer.

We offer an initial interview to discuss your case. Thereafter, we will charge for our time at an hourly rate of between £150 to £250 per hour based on the skill and experience of the lawyer handling your case.

Examples of expected costs

Simple case: £4,000 - £8,500 (excluding VAT)

Fairly complex case: £8,000 - £11,000 (excluding VAT)

Highly complex case: £11,000 - £20,000 (excluding VAT)

There will be an additional charge for attending a Tribunal Hearing £1,250 per day (excluding VAT). *These examples are for guidance only*

  • If it is necessary to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim
  • Defending claims that are brought by people who do not have...

Complicating factors:

  • If it is necessary to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim
  • Defending claims that are brought by people who do not have a legal representative
  • Making or defending a costs application
  • Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled and issues regarding the presentation of claims within the usual time limits (if this is not agreed upon by the parties)
  • The number of witnesses and documents
  • If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim, e.g. if you are dismissed after making a protected disclosure (whistleblowing) on your employer
  • Allegations of discrimination are linked to the dismissal

In most cases, Employment Tribunals will not award legal costs whether you win or lose your claim (except in exceptional circumstances). Therefore, you will normally be responsible for your own legal costs. There are a number of ways you can look for payment of legal costs.

These include:

  • Trade Union membership
  • Legal expenses insurance
  • No win, no fee arrangements
  • Pay as you go

TMJ Legal Services will give you advice on what is the best cost method to pursue a claim. We handle the payment of disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. Barrister's fees are estimated between £750 to £2,000 per day (depending on experience) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation).

In this case, if your employer is insolvent you may be able to make a claim through the Insolvency Service. If your employer is not insolvent then TMJ can advise you on the best way to approach a legal claim to recover your lawful redundancy payment.

Key stages - the fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:

  • Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and likely compensation (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and subject to change)
  • Entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached
  • Preparing the claim form (ET1) or response (ET3)
  • Reviewing and advising on ET1 or ET3 from other party
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process
  • Preparing or considering a schedule of loss
  • Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing if necessary. • Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing on a bundle of documents
  • Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing on their content with witnesses
  • Preparing bundle of documents
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party's witness statements
  • Agreeing on a list of issues, a chronology and/or a cast list
  • Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to a barrister

Not all stages above are normally required, and our fee will be reduced if necessary. You may wish to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. This can also be arranged to your individual needs.

How long will my matter take? The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take 2 – 4 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 4 – 9 months.

This is just an estimate and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.

TMJ Legal Services

TMJ Legal Services has been helping individuals and businesses since 1986. We offer a range of advice and services. 

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