Background

Employees

As an employee, you will have the benefit of substantial protection under employment law legislation. To gain the benefit of that protection, you need to know what your rights are, how they are enforced and what you have to do to make sure they apply to you. At Coodes, our employment lawyers have a great deal of experience in assisting employees who are unsure of their rights or who need help to enforce them. We have a number of different pricing options to ensure that you can always access expert advice and assistance and have a clear understanding of what it will cost. VAT will be added to our fees and disbursements, with the current rate being 20%.

Knowing your rights and responsibilities:

The legislation and regulatory regime in the employment context is complex and difficult to interpret at times. A lot of information is available to assist employees in knowing what their rights are, including from these neutral sites: www.gov.uk; www.acas.co.uk. There are times when employees need to know how that information applies to them and their employment circumstances.

Discrimination:

All employees have the right not to be discriminated against and to be treated fairly. The law provides remedies for staff who hold a “protected characteristic” and who are treated differently from others. The protected characteristics are age, gender, sexual orientation, religion or philosophical belief, race, ethnic origin or disability. The legislation applies from recruitment, to training and promotion, terms and conditions of employment, and to termination of employment and sometimes even after termination. Male and female staff also have the right to be paid the same for broadly similar work. Where this becomes an issue in the employment context, it can become very difficult both between employer and employee and, in some cases, other employees. Issues revolving around these fundamental categories can be very emotive so it is important to seek expert advice and resolve any problems as early as possible.

We can:

  • Advise you if you think that you may have been treated differently and unfairly around one of the protected characteristics.
  • Take any consequent action through the tribunal and court system where disputes remain unresolved.

Grievances:

Difficulties between staff can sometimes arise and staff can sometimes find themselves in conflict with their employer. These differences can sometimes be emotive and difficult to handle. In both instances, a speedy and legally compliant resolution is desirable. Before formal action can be taken it is usually a requirement that you follow your employer’s grievance procedure. All organisations should have a grievance procedure that can be used to enable these issues to be addressed.

We can:

  • Advise you of your rights when relationships at work need resolving.
  • Assist you to put the formal grievance process in place.

Disciplinary action and dismissal:

When things go wrong at work, employers have the right to take formal disciplinary action and, potentially, dismiss staff. When and how this is done is strictly governed by employment legislation, and employers need to follow a fair procedure. If you are under threat of this sort of action, you should seek expert advice to make sure that any action taken against you is legitimate, even if you believe it to be unjustified, and that proper processes are being followed. If employment is terminated, you might have the right to take the matter to the Employment Tribunal.

We can:

  • Advise you about any disciplinary process being taken against you and how to respond to it.
  • Negotiate the terms of a Settlement Agreement.
  • Assist you in making a claim to an Employment Tribunal.
  • Represent you at any Tribunal Hearing.

Redundancy:

Often, when organisations restructure for financial or organisational reasons, they may decide to make some staff redundant. In such circumstances, employers have to follow proper procedures and the processes by which individuals are selected for redundancy must be clear and applied fairly. When concluded, redundancy payments are often subject to formal agreements upon which proper legal advice is needed. These are frequently called “Settlement Agreements”.

We can:

  • Assist you when you are subject to a possible redundancy process to ensure that you know your rights and that proper processes are followed.
  • Advise you on proposed terms of settlement and complete the Settlement Agreement for you.
  • Take any consequent action, if necessary, through the tribunal system.

When you leave – restrictive covenants, social media and IP rights:

UK law recognises the right of individuals to follow and develop their careers how and where they wish, and with whom. However, employers also have the right to protect their businesses – their intellectual property, customer relationships, processes and future plans. Getting the balance right is not always straightforward so, if you leave an employer, it is important that you understand what restrictions your former employer wishes to impose and ensure that these are fair and lawful.

We can:

  • Consider and advise you on your contract terms as to whether and how enforceable they are.
  • Deal with and challenge any unfair and unlawful restrictions by corresponding and negotiating with your employer.
  • Deal with any formal court enforcement of restrictive rights.

Employment tribunals:

The provision of advice and representation to employees in relation to the bringing of claims before the Employment Tribunal against an employer for unfair or wrongful dismissal.

Our pricing for this service is detailed below.

We understand the stress and urgency involved in dealing with employment matters and the importance of understanding the legal process that will be applied. While individual cases vary, an employment tribunal is likely to follow a structure similar to this:

  • Initial advice and assessment.
  • Pre-action work to include pre-claim conciliation.
  • Negotiating settlement.
  • Disclosure and bundle preparation.
  • Advocacy at a final hearing or the instruction of counsel where necessary.
  • Enforcement.
  • Witness statements.
  • Preparing a Schedule of Loss.
  • Issuing proceedings.
  • Initial advice and assessment.

Please contact us if you wish to discuss this further.

Pricing:

We have a number of options that you can use to cover our charges and to enable you to keep control of your legal expenses:

  • Fixed and staged prices to cover specific steps depending on the amount of work that is needed.
  • Legal expenses may be covered by your personal insurance policies. You can make a claim and ask your insurer to cover our charges.
  • Damages-based agreements may be available for claims made to a tribunal where you only pay our charges if you are successful. Our charges will generally be a third of anything you recover, whether by settlement or judgment. Occasionally there may be additional charges for expert medical reports or fees for counsel, which you will need to pay at the time the cost is incurred.
  • Whether we can offer a damages-based agreement will require an assessment both of the prospects of the case and the likely compensation. This assessment should be concluded within four weeks of receipt of all relevant documentation and an initial meeting with you. There may be a charge of £200 plus VAT (£240 inclusive of VAT) to undertake this assessment.
  • In certain cases, we may be able to offer alternative funding agreements to include conditional fee and damage-based agreements. To allow us to properly assess whether or not such agreements would be suitable, we will require time to assess your case once we have received all relevant documentation from you.

Fees for Employment Tribunals:

  • On average, we charge £5,000 – £9,000 plus VAT £6,000 – £10,800 inclusive of VAT) for this work when you are paying your legal costs on an hourly basis for a claim that proceeds to include a final hearing. This estimate is just an average price based on recent instructions; the actual cost to you will depend on a number of factors, which we will discuss with you if you decide to instruct us.
  • The charge is based on an average of our usual hourly charging rates of between £220 – £305 plus VAT (£264 – £360 inclusive of VAT) per hour.
  • We may use damages-based agreements (commonly known as no win no fee agreements), in which case you will be responsible for paying us a third of any sum you recover. If you are unsuccessful, you may be required to pay us for the initial advice and assessment received prior to the Agreement commencing. See the section above on the initial assessment and potential costs.
  • You may have the benefit of being able to claim under a legal expenses policy that would cover your legal fees.
  • There are sometimes additional costs you may have to pay to include for example counsel’s fees and medical expert fees. Depending on the length and complexity of a final hearing counsel’s fees would likely be between £750 – £2,000 plus VAT (£900 – £2,400 inclusive of VAT). The instruction of counsel may reduce the fee you would pay to us. Medical expert fees will vary from case to case but the range of £200 – £2,000 plus VAT (£240 -£2,400 inclusive of VAT) can be expected, depending on the expert used and what they are being asked to assess.
  • In most Employment Tribunal cases legal costs are not recoverable from the other party irrespective of the outcome.
  • Our fees are calculated only for wrongful and unfair dismissal claims. If your claim includes other heads of claim (for example discrimination), we reserve the right to charge you additional sums depending on the circumstances.
  • We will advise you if you should consider claiming your costs from a third party for example a trade union.

Whilst the costs incurred up to and including a Hearing will vary depending on the facts, circumstances and complexities of the case, we estimate the following costs could be incurred, including Barrister fees:

Length of HearingOur Estimated CostsEstimated Barrister CostsEstimated Total Costs
One Day Hearing£5,000 – £9,000 plus VAT

(£6,000 – £10,800 including VAT)

£3,500 plus VAT

(£4,200 including VAT)

£8,500 – £12,500 plus VAT

(£10,200 – £15,000 including VAT)

Two Day Hearing£7,000 – £11,000 plus VAT

(£8,400 – £13,200 including VAT)

£5,000 plus VAT

(£6,000 including VAT)

£12,000 – £16,000 plus VAT

(£14,400 – £19,200 including VAT)

Three Day Hearing£9,000 – £12,000 plus VAT

(£10,800 – £14,400 including VAT)

£6,500 plus VAT

(£7,800 including VAT)

£15,500 – £18,500 plus VAT

(£18,600 – £22,200 including VAT)

Four Day Hearing£10,000 – £14,000 plus VAT

(£12,000- £16,800 including VAT)

£9,000 plus VAT

(£10,800 including VAT)

£19,000- £23,000 plus VAT

(£22,800 – £27,600 including VAT)

Five Day Hearing£11,000 – £16,500 plus VAT

(£13,200 – £19,800 including VAT)

£10,500 plus VAT

(£12,600 including VAT)

£21,500 – £27,000 plus VAT

(£25,800 – £32,400 including VAT)

If you wish to find out more about the process and likely timescales, please look at our Employment Tribunal – process pdf.

Team

Steph Marsh

Head of Employment

Ivelina White

Paralegal

News & Events

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Key contact

Steph Marsh

Head of Employment

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