We Provide Solutions
Clients come to us to be advised on their options and how to take the next steps with their employment issues. Often, individuals remain in employment and have an on-going (yet damaged) working relationship with their employer. We often take enquiries from people that have reached a cross-roads and do not know which way to turn or how they move forward. Sometimes there has been an extended period of sickness absence or work relations have become strained and mental health is impacted. Our role is to work out a solution and provide a road map to move forward. This can be in a number of ways:
If the relationship appears salvageable, or we consider the employer needs to be made aware of the issues being faced by its employee, we advise that the individual raise a grievance. This is an internal formal complaint where the issues are set out in writing, a meeting is held, hopefully the issues are investigated, and a conclusion is reached. If the outcome is unacceptable or deficient then the individual can appeal. This can often be a good precursor to employment tribunal proceedings and puts the employer on notice that there are concerns and gives them the opportunity to take reparative steps.
If relations are at a point where the individual does not believe they can continue in employment, then we can act as a barrier between the parties and propose a solution by way of a managed exit. We consider the chronology, the facts and issues and present these to the employer. In doing so, we highlight potential litigation risk for the employer and a way this can be avoided. Given employment tribunal proceedings are protracted and expensive, this can often be an attractive option. We aim to secure a sensible and fair outcome for our clients that allows them to leave their employment with some future financial protection. We are not miracle workers but have a proven track record of achieving favourable outcomes for our clients in a quick, efficient yet human and empathetic way.
If all else fails, we advise our clients that a last resort is commencing Acas Conciliation (the precursor to ligation) and exploring resolution this way. If unsuccessful, then we support and advise our clients in issuing an ET1 (claim form) in the tribunal setting out their grounds of claim. We do not take this step lightly and will advise on potential prospects of success, merit and value. The tribunal process is stressful and expensive. Often a blunt instrument that causes more distress and anxiety than the individual was already facing. The tribunal service is underfunded and under-resourced (as with many other public functions) so expectations have to be managed. That being said, if litigation is what it takes to get our client the outcome they deserve, then so be it. We are here to support our clients and secure the optimum result possible.