Legal representation in an Employment Tribunal case

An Employment Tribunal case is frequently handled by a specialist employment law solicitor who is dealing with the claim on behalf of the applicant using the no win no fee scheme. A lawyer in this case has a vested interest in winning the claim and as such will leave no stone unturned in his quest to pin liability on the employer. A smaller segment of knowledgable applicants represent themselves or may be represented by a lay person who is often a very experienced representative from the Citizens Advice Bureau or may be a specially trained trades union lay advocate. In all cases the employer who represents himself is under a disadvantage and it is advisable for any employer to be legally represented particularly in cases involving racial or sexual discrimination, victimisation or harassment where damages can be unlimited.

Specialist lawyers

Our panel of lawyers contains dedicated employment law solicitor advocates. This area of law is complex and extremely fast moving which, whilst being controlled by a number of important regulations and statutes, is subject to change on a regular and frequent basis as a result of the interpretation put on the legislation by case law usually emanating from the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT).

Statutory protection for employees

The main statutory protection for employees is as follows :-

  • The Sex Discrimination Act 1975
  • The Equal Pay Act 1970
  • Employment Equality Regulations 2003
  • The Race Relations Act 1976
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1975
  • Employment Rights Act 1996
  • EC Equal Treatment Directive 76/207
  • Protection From Harassment Act 1997


Whatever the outcome of the initial hearing it is possible for the decision to be appealed. A decision of the ET can be appealed to the EAT only if the law has been incorrectly interpreted or applied or if the decision of the ET is one which no reasonable tribunal could possibly have reached. It is possible for the EAT to admit further evidence if that additional evidence was not available at the time the matter was first heard. It is essential that any business is represented at the EAT by an experienced employment law solicitor

Unfair dismissal

Termination of employment must be fair and reasonable and except in cases of very offensive behaviour, warnings must be issued to the offender. The five permitted reasons for dismissal are unacceptable conduct, inability to do the work, redundancy, illegality or some other substantial reason.

Constructive dismissal

This type of termination of employment due to breach of the contract of employment by the employer which is unacceptable to the employee and effectively forces the employee to resign.


Occurs if the business closes down, or if there is reduced need for workers of the employee's type. An employee with more than two years service is entitled to compensation.

Race discrimaination

The Race Discrimination Act protects employees who are discriminated against on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic and national origin and some religious groups.

Sex discrimaination and harassment

The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 protects employees against sexual discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation.