What are your chances of success at Employment Tribunal?

Blog Posted: Friday 6th May 2022 by

The BBC spent £500,000 defending an unfair dismissal claim against its former chief technology officer, after being offered to settle the case for £50,000, which begs the question if its better to settle or fight?

The sum of almost £500,00 did not include damages paid to the claimant, which were reported to be nearly £80,000.

When facing a tribunal claim, an employer needs to understand the different influences on the situation they are facing. It is important to make sure that you make the right decision in each situation as there are no guarantees and there are costs involved, irrespective of the outcome.

There are counter considerations if you settle cases on a cost-saving basis, like employees who settle because it will save them money, but there also needs to be a balancing act between the benefits of defending the case, and the benefits of resolving the claim quickly.

If you face an employment tribunal claim, your first reaction could be to defend it, but you should consider the following factors before deciding whether to settle or fight the claim.

1. Your Chances of Success

If you have all the documentation and information available about the claim, you should be able to assess the chances of fighting it successfully. If your chances are below 50%, it may be a good idea to settle.

2. Costs and Remedy

Whether fighting the claim will cost you more than just settling it. As well as your court costs, depending on the type of case, if you lose, you could be ordered to pay the claimant compensation and witness expenses they’ve paid, in addition to possibly giving them their job back.

3. Workplace Culture

Settlement could have an indirect impact on your business if it affects employee relations or causes an internal expectation. Employee could see a settlement as rewarding an ex-employee.

4. Indirect Message

If the claim is against the management team, a settlement of a claim may send a message that managers are not supported.

5. Publicity

Whether the publicity associated with going to tribunal could affect your business. However, depending on the claim, you may want to fight to avoid setting a precedent.

Every case is different but to defend a claim as an employer, take all the factors above into consideration and keep the chances of success and settlement under review throughout the cycle of the claim.

Human Results can support you by providing pre-action conciliation with ACAS through our Retained HR package. If you have had a claim issued against you and are unsure of the next steps, please do contact us for further advice.

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