Unfair Dismissal Tribunal Costs: Recovery and Negotiation
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Unfair Dismissal Tribunal Costs can arise following the making of an unfair dismissal claim against your previous employer. Though you do not have to pay fees for bringing such a claim in the Employment Tribunals, if you lose your Employment Tribunal claim, the Tribunal may order you to pay the legal costs your employer has incurred as legal expenses for any unreasonable conduct.
What do Employment Tribunal Costs Include?
Employment Tribunal costs or Unfair Dismissal Tribunal costs may include a number of items and will usually be awarded to the winning party following unreasonable conduct, with the losing party being ordered to pay the costs. These costs can include various types of legal fees, such as costs of any witness statements obtained, legal advice sought for preparing the claim, and time spent on generally preparing/defending the claim.
It should be noted that the Employment Tribunal and employment law does not only deal with wrongful dismissal claims and; thus, the costs which may be included can vary based on the facts of the case.
When Will you Have to Pay Costs?
It is important that you follow the claims process properly in order to avoid having to pay unfair dismissal tribunal costs, and it is always prudent to check if you have pre-existing legal expenses insurance to provide cover in the event of any adverse costs order. The Judge is more likely to order costs if they believe one of the party has misled the Tribunal or has not cooperated properly during the claim. Below are some tips on factors to take into account when dealing with a claim in order to protect yourself against a costs order being made against you:
- Make sure your claim is reasonable – you need to ensure you have good grounds for making a claim. Check the legal tests which apply to your case and ensure you have evidence to support the strength of your claim.
- Make sure you provide all the information – it is important to ensure all facts are disclosed clearly. If you hold any information back, the Tribunal may see this as misleading and the Judge can order you to pay costs.
- Always tell the truth – it is very important you do not lie during your claim. If you are found to be lying at the tribunal hearing, you will likely be ordered to pay costs
- Ensure your behaviour is reasonable – make sure you are complying with the Court directions given and deadlines relating to this. Cooperate with the opposing party and the tribunal by also being open to early conciliation if it is offered to you.
- Make sure you attend the Tribunal hearing as the hearing will take place even if you are not present. Your absence could result in you being ordered to pay your employer’s costs.
- If you decide to withdraw your case, make sure you follow the correct procedure in doing this.
Can You Ask for Your Costs to be Paid if Successful?
If you prepare your claim yourself or use the assistance of an unpaid advisor, the Judge can make a preparation time order. These are details of the costs for the time taken in preparing the claim.
The amount you can claim will be calculated by taking the number of hours you have spent working on the case and multiplying by an hourly rate of £41.
You should use this figure as a base to claim your unfair dismissal tribunal costs and should present your wish to claim costs as early as possible. It is worth asking for a preparation time order if you think your employer’s defence is not strong, or your employer is behaving unreasonably by not cooperating with you or complying to the directions set by the Tribunal.
To ask for a preparation time order, let your employer know of your intention to seek this order first. Then at the hearing, you will need to give the Judge reasons as to why you are seeking this order as well as the time which you are claiming. The judge will then make a decision on this.
How Can ARC Costs Assist?
ARC Costs deal with numerous costs related issues in all types of legal cases such as unfair dismissal tribunal costs and all other tribunal service cases.
If you have been ordered to pay costs with no limit or cap set by the Tribunal, your employer may serve you with a Bill of Costs which could seek significant fees and that you may consider is unreasonable. As Costs Lawyers, we assist in negotiating these costs on your behalf as well as settling Points of Dispute setting out persuasive legal arguments which may assist in reducing the costs that would be allowed on assessment. If a settlement agreement cannot be reached, we can also provide representation at hearings.
As independent costs experts, we can also assist if you are the receiving party. Under an assessment order, we would be required to prepare a detailed Bill of Costs and provide submissions in any Points of Reply to justify the amounts claimed.
Please refer to our case studies page to find out how we have assisted other clients. If you wish to discuss your query further, please contact us here, or alternatively email one of the team at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call an expert on 01204 397302.
ARC Costs Limited is regulated and registered in England and Wales to assist Solicitors and other legal professionals, and our Costs Lawyers are authorised and regulated by the Costs Lawyer Standards Board.
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