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Employment claims for individuals

Employment claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal – important information

In order to understand the type of case that you have and the indicative pricing information below, it is essential to understand the important difference between Wrongful and Unfair Dismissal.  It is also important to understand we are not providing you with legal advice below but merely identifying the pricing on specific claims.

Wrongful Dismissal

This is where your employer has terminated your employment with no notice or insufficient notice as required by the contract or statute.

Unfair Dismissal

This is where your employer has ended your employment without having a lawful reason for dismissal and/or has failed to follow a fair dismissal procedure.

Neither of the above should be confused with Constructive Dismissal.    Constructive Dismissal is where you have left your employment by resigning in circumstances where your employer is in serious breach of the terms of your employment so as to entitle you to resign without having to give notice.

A constructive dismissal is not wrongful dismissal.   It could amount to an unfair dismissal but will not be a simple case.   The claim is likely to be of medium to high complexity.

We set out below an indication of our charges for acting in cases of unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal.    A wrongful dismissal case may involve unfair dismissal as well. If you have worked for less than 2 years for an employer you may only have a wrongful dismissal claim because you will usually need to have worked for an employer for at least 2 years to be able to claim Unfair Dismissal or to receive a Redundancy Payment. Other claims may exist but we are not obligated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to deal with these here. We shall be happy to discuss with you and give you an individual estimate of our fees.

Our charges assume that your employment has already ended at the time you consult us.

Situations where Employment has not ended.

Should you consult us prior to the termination of your employment, you may be able to obtain advice from us that may enable the costs of an Employment Tribunal claim to be avoided as it is possible to enter a commercial agreement known as a Settlement Agreement with your employer to compromise and end the employment which precludes either party going to the Employment Tribunal.  You should normally expect to pay a fee in the region of £900 to £1,200 plus VAT for advice on such an Agreement in a simple case and, where the case is more complex, a higher fee should be anticipated.  Advice on such matters will be charged at the Fee Earners hourly rate shown in the Department’s indicative charging rates.

Advice prior to termination of employment is generally not covered by any Legal Expenses Insurance Policy you may have.   However, employers may often contribute part of your legal costs to the cost of a Settlement Agreement.

Our pricing for bringing claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal

The figures below are an indication.

You may wish to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. This can also be arranged on your individual needs and will result in a lower fees. These figures are for  taking a case from start  of claim until a full hearing and a lower fee may be appropriate if a case is resolved  and  not  all the key stages set out below are necessary.

Simple case: £10,000 – £25,000 plus VAT and disbursements* – estimated 20 – 50 hours work;

Medium complexity case: £25,000 – £45,000 plus VAT and disbursements* – estimated 50 – 90 hours work;

Higher complexity case: £45,000 to £60,000 plus VAT and disbursements* – estimated 90 – 120 hours work.

Please note all fees indicated above assume the claim will be heard in a London venue. Outside of London, travelling time and expenses will be greater than those assumed in the above figures and we shall discuss with you at time of instruction.

Factors that could make a case more complex:

  • if it is necessary to make or resist applications to amend claims or to provide information about an existing claim;
  • making or defending a costs application;
  • the number of witnesses and documents.

Generally, we would allow, for a simple case one or two days, for a medium case 2 to 3 days, and 4 for a high complex case.

Cases not covered by these figures

Very complex cases such as whistleblowing allegations or cases involving discrimination or equal pay or which are likely to take  5 days or more in an Employment Tribunal.

Key stages

We have broken down the different stages of a case to give you a better idea of the work actually involved:

  • 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 pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached;
  • preparing claim;
  • reviewing and advising on response from other party;
  • exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process;
  • preparing for and considering a schedule of loss;
  • preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing of up to 2 hours;
  • exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents;
  • taking additional witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses;
  • preparing bundle of documents;
  • reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements;
  • agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list;
  • preparation for a Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel;
  • representation at Final Hearing;

*Disbursements

There are no longer fees payable to bring an Employment Tribunal claim unlike a County Court claim.

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as a specialist Barrister or the Court. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Barrister`s fees vary from about £2,500 to £5,000 per day plus VAT (depending on the seniority of the Advocate) for representing you at a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation).

How long will my application take?

The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take 8 – 12 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 52 weeks. This is just an estimate and subject to the Tribunal’s availability and the availability of the other side.  We will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.

Members of our Employment team who may be assisting you include