The best way to avoid someone making an employment-related tribunal claim against you is to avoid any disputes arising in the first place.
Employees - and in some cases other types of worker - may make an employment-related tribunal claim over issues such as:
- equal pay
- unfair dismissal
- redundancy pay
- discrimination on the grounds of gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marriage, civil partnership, disability, race, age, religious belief or political opinion
- breach of contract
- working hours
- unauthorised deductions from wages
- written statement of terms and conditions
- failure to inform and consult in a redundancy or business transfer situation
You can help to avoid disputes by:
- Giving each employee a written statement of main terms and conditions of employment. This is a legal requirement.
- Being prepared to consider employees' grievances, or raise disciplinary issues with them, informally and at an early stage wherever possible.
- Having clearly written policies and procedures where matters need to be dealt with formally. Note that disciplinary and grievance procedures are required and should comply with the Labour Relations Agency Code of Practice.
- communicate these policies and procedures to your staff
- ensure that your staff fully understand them
- follow them consistently when the need arises
As an employer, you should also try to keep up to date with current employment law and any planned changes in legislation.
This may be time-consuming, but it's less time-consuming - and less expensive - than appearing before an employment-related tribunal.
Resolve disputes quickly
If a dispute does arise, you should try to resolve it as early, quickly and informally as possible - certainly before the employee even considers making a tribunal claim.
If, despite your best efforts to resolve the issue, an individual is likely to make a claim against you, they or you can call the LRA Helpline on Tel 028 9032 1442. They will be able to provide you with information on the options available to you for resolving your dispute before a tribunal claim is lodged. There is no charge for using LRA services.
You can also ask the LRA to conciliate as an alternative to going ahead with the claim. See LRA conciliation.