Employees

employees legal advice - schofield and associates

At Schofield & Associates Employment Lawyers we can help and advise you on all matters concerning your employment.

Most people contact an Employment Lawyer if they are experiencing difficulties in the workplace including:

  • Settlement agreements
  • Disciplinary and grievance matters
  • Stress at work
  • Harassment
  • Sickness absence
  • Redundancy
  • Breach of contract
  • Unfair dismissal
  • Wrongful dismissal
  • Discrimination including sex, race, age, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation

Approaching a solicitor for advice can seem a daunting task and at Schofield & Associates we understand this and make sure at the outset you are fully aware of your rights. We will provide you with comprehensive advice about the options available to you and will confirm from the outset if our experienced team of employment lawyers are in a position to assist you. You will be advised about the likely process and the potential risks involved including the costs involved in taking each course of action.

We take a pragmatic and strategic approach to your employment situation to reach an appropriate resolution. Employment law is constantly changing and employers must comply with all forms of legislation. If you think you have been, or are being treated unfairly, please contact us by telephone on 01564 739 103 for an initial consultation.

Your enquiry will be handled by an experienced employment law professional and will of course be treated in the strictest confidence.

For more information on how Schofield & Associates may be able to assist you please contact us here 

 

Costs in employment tribunals 

We advise individuals and employers in respect of either making a claim in the tribunal or defending a claim in an employment tribunal.

We are required by the SRA to provide details of the costs you will incur when instructing Schofield & Associates to represent you at an employment tribunal.

How much will an employment tribunal cost?

Not every claim made at tribunal will end up at a contested hearing. There is every chance that the claim will settle without the need to go to tribunal and this can be facilitated through ACAS resulting an agreement signed by the parties to resolve issues connected to the claim.

Even if the matter does not go to a contested hearing costs will be incurred. There is usually a significant amount of work to be completed at each stage to ensure that the matter is fully prepared for hearing, this preparatory work must be undertaken within the deadlines set by the employment tribunal and as a result costs will be incurred at all stages of a claim.

The cost rules in the employment tribunal mean that even if you win your claim, your opponent may not have to make any payment towards your costs.

As a guide, for both employers and employees, the typical range of costs for a routine claim that proceeds to a contested one-day final hearing is likely to start at £4,000 + VAT. The final costs are difficult to predict but could be as high as £10,000 +VAT or more.

These costs should be treated as a guide as it is difficult to assess precise costs as each case is different and when we know the exact circumstances of your claim we will be able to define the costs more accurately.

How we charge for this work

We usually work on an hourly rate basis, our fees range from £100 per hour to £300 per hour

Legal Expenses Cover

Many of us have legal expenses cover as part of our home contents or car insurance. You should check your polies to see if you are covered for employment advise, insurance companies have very specific criteria which you must comply with before you can access your legal expenses cover for example most insurance companies require you to lodge a claim with your insurer within 90 days of the incident arising.  There are other obligations which you should check, failing to meet the deadlines may mean that you are prevented from using your legal expenses insurance.

Companies, legal expenses and employment tribunal awards may be covered by “Directors & Officers” insurance or other insurance policies. If you are unsure whether you have this cover,  you should speak to your insurance broker and comply with any conditions of cover.

Other fee arrangements

We do not offer conditional fee agreements, damages based agreements or  “no win no fee” agreements for this work.

We do not undertake any legal aid work however in certain circumstances legal aid may be available for some employment tribunal claims.

If you are a member of a trade union or staff association you may be able to access legal advice and representation free of charge through that body.

 

 

Services that are included

Typical key stages of an employment tribunal

  • 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 a pre-claim conciliation to explore whether a settlement can be reached
  • Preparing a claim or response
  • Reviewing and advising on the claim or response presented by the other party
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process
  • Preparing or considering a schedule of loss
  • Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing
  • Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents
  • Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses
  • Preparing a bundle of documents
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements
  • Agreeing on a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list
  • Preparing instructions to Counsel and attending a conference with Counsel if required,

Our fee estimates will include the above stages. If any of the stages are not required, the fee will be reduced accordingly.

Factors that could make a case more complex

More complex cases may lead to increased costs, although again this depends on the stage at which the case is concluded. Factors which could make a case more complex include:

  • where there will be more than three witnesses in total
  • where the final hearing is scheduled to be heard over two or more days
  • cases about whistleblowing, discrimination, equal pay, TUPE or large scale redundancy situations
  • cases where the subject matter extends over a significant period of time
  • points of law that have to be determined before the full hearing
  • high value, business critical or high profile cases that carry a significant reputational risk

 

 

Disbursements:

In most employment tribunal cases, we will instruct a barrister to advise on your case or represent you at a hearing. The costs can depend on the seniority of the barrister, the location of any hearing and the length and complexity of the hearing.

The typical range of costs for a barrister in a case that proceeds to a one day contested hearing is likely to start at £1,500 + VAT.