Handling employee conflicts and grievances

If your business encounters a claim or grievance from a staff member it is important to handle it within the necessary procedures, while trying to resolve the conflict as quickly as possible. Employee conflicts must be handled fairly and constructively, receiving the right legal advice promptly can be paramount in ensuring conflicts don’t escalate unnecessarily.

Our employment solicitors have specialist commercial expertise and have experience helping business owners, HR stakeholders, and other HR responsible persons to resolve employee grievances concerning staff roles, workplace environments, company policies and disputes between team members, including harassment claims.

Employment Tribunals

Unfortunately, not all employee conflicts and grievances can be settled and your business may be faced with an Employment Tribunal claim. BHW’s employment law solicitors will advise you through the process of defending an Employment Tribunal claim, giving you clear options and the possible outcomes along the way, so that you can make an informed commercial decision.

Indicative Pricing

This costs guide is specifically in relation to defending an Employment Tribunal claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal.

Our legal team will always outline estimated costs tailored to the circumstances of the claim you are defending at an initial meeting. As circumstances can vary greatly from one claim to another, the information provided below is a guide only. The price ranges quoted below include the cost of an initial meeting.

Simple case: £5,000 – £10,000 (plus VAT)
Medium complexity case: £10,000 – £20,000 (plus VAT)
High complexity case: £20,000+ (plus VAT)

VAT is charged at 20%.

Costs are charged on an hourly rate basis and all cases are handled by an experienced Partner in our Employment Law department. Our Partner’s hourly rate is £360 plus VAT.

Factors that could make a case more complex:

  • if it is necessary to defend applications or to provide information about an existing claim;
  • defending claims that are brought by litigants in person;
  • defending a costs application;
  • complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties);
  • the number of witnesses and documents;
  • if it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim;
  • cases involving whistle-blowing;
  • allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal.

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. These will be explained to you at an initial meeting.

Counsel’s fees can range between £1,000 and £5,000 per day (depending on experience of the advocate) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation). We will obtain a formal quote for Counsel’s fees once it is required.

The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the key stages of a claim:

  • taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on the likely outcomes and 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 a response;
  • reviewing and advising on a claim or 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;
  • exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents;
  • taking 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 and attendance at Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel.

The stages set out above are an indication and if some of the stages are not required, this will be reflected in the fee. 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.

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 2-8 weeks.

If the claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 6-12 months. This is just an estimate and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.

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