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Obtaining Representation in Tribunal: Jacksons Employment Services

Posted on 17th November, 2017

The Employment Team at Jacksons Law Firm has a proud track record of offering businesses and individuals support and representation to defend or bring proceedings in the Employment Tribunals from our offices in Newcastle and Teesside.

All of our team regularly appear before Employment Tribunals throughout the UK but most frequently at the Tribunal hearing centres in North Shields and Middlesbrough. Most importantly, we recognise that making the choice to bring a claim to an Employment Tribunal, or defending a claim, are daunting processes and we try to minimise the challenges as far as we can for clients we are instructed to represent.

We consider that following the Supreme Court’s decision to abolish Employment Tribunal Fees in July 2017 there will be a rise in the number of claims that are issued in 2018 as a significant costs hurdle for litigants has been removed.

Last week Maternity Action released a report on the impact of unfair redundancies on pregnant women and new mothers claiming that as many as one in every 20 women are made redundant during pregnancy, maternity leave, or on return to work and some of these redundancies are discriminatory and many are unfair. The report calls upon the government to urgently implement its commitment to review existing protections for pregnant women in this area which it made at the beginning of the year but has yet to address.

The report recommends that the UK adopt the German model of redundancy protection which provides that women cannot be made redundant by their employer from notification of their pregnancy to six months after their return to work. This is with some limited exceptions, such as business closure.

It also calls for an extension of the time to make a claim in the Employment Tribunal from the current three months from the date of the less favourable treatment, detriment or dismissal, to six months. With this extended limitation period being available from when the employer has been informed of the pregnancy to six months after the return to work.

The report is available to read at www.maternityaction.org.uk/2017/11/new-report-on-harsh-impact-of-unfair-redundancies

Maternity discrimination is an area that Jacksons Employment Team has significant experience of providing representation in the Employment Tribunals throughout the UK to both individuals and businesses.

Another area in which we have professional experience, which has received considerable media attention following the Harvey Weinstein revelations and closer to home, the allegations that have emerged in relation to some prominent politicians, is in pursuing or defending claims in the Tribunals that include allegations of sexual harassment.

Zoe Williams published an excellent article in the Guardian in October 2017

(www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/16/facts-sexual-harassment-workplace-harvey-weinstein) which highlights that just over half the female working population have experienced some form of sexual harassment at work, but historically this problem remains under reported due to poor outcomes, barriers to bringing a Tribunal claim and the wider cultural context that has been highlighted by the recent Westminster revelations and perhaps more tellingly the reactions in some quarters (mainly male) that seek to down play the problems for victims, or to place the events into a context of their arising at a point in history when tolerance for such events or the willingness to turn a blind eye was greater. The standoff between Ian Hislop and Jo Brand on a recent episode of Have I Got News For You starkly highlighted the contrasting viewpoints that exist on the gravity of acts of sexual harassment for those who are victims of it.

If you instruct us to represent you or your business, we will be clear with you from the outset on the sort of costs involved in each stage of the Employment Tribunal process, from filing the claim or defence, preparing the case for hearing and the conduct of the hearing itself. We will also be clear as to the respective strengths and weaknesses of both parties positions from the outset and we will continue to provide assessments on the merits and risks as the case progresses towards a hearing so that clients can always make informed choices as to whether to continue to litigate, or seek to resolve via other means such as ACAS settlement, or mediation. As part of these discussions we will seek to understand our clients’ objectives in bringing or defending proceedings and whether they wish us to explore the scope for a resolution and we will keep this under review throughout the proceedings.

Please visit our website at www.jacksons-law.com/representation for further information on how Jacksons Employment Team can help you bring or defend claims of discrimination or harassment, or any other type of employment claim.

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