Interim Relief

I just wanted to share with you the challenge I have faced this week.  Long story short on Tuesday I received Tribunal papers from an employee who was dismissed by reason of redundancy,  - September last year. Along with the usual claim for unfair dismissal was  a claim for interim relief. The employee had refused conciliation and had simply asked for a certificate number which he duly received on 15th Jan 2021.

Despite both claims being out of date - interim relief has to be claimed within 7 days of dismissal and of course 30 days less a day for unfair dismissal, added to this interim relief can only be claimed in certain circumstances it appeared this claim had been passed for listing.

 I was  really confused and worried about the financial implications of interim relief.  The case was set for a virtual hearing for 16th Feb, and case orders were for the bundle to be produced and sent 5 working days prior to the hearing, giving me 4 days to contact the Claimant, pull the convert all documents to PDF paginate, index etc. 

I emailed the Tribunal and called them, I understand that they may be under a lot of pressure, but for two days all I was told was that it would have been put before a duty judge and they had passed the claim for listing.  They were adamant the case hearing would go ahead. 

It was only after I contacted the claimant to agree the bundle that I discovered he had not made a claim for interim relief.  It is really disconcerting to think that the Company could have spent an awful lot of time and expense on defending a claim that had not been made.  I am just please that I verified the claim with the claimant sooner than later 

  • That is shocking. We know the tribunal system is under pressure, but there is no excuse for that.
  • In reply to Elizabeth:

    I must admit I had a bit of a melt down. Do you think its worth giving the Tribunal office feedback on this, I would hate for any other employer to go through this, especially small business owners who may not have experience in dealing with types of issues
  • In reply to Beverley Russell:

    I don't know enough about the tribunal system to know if they have a mechanism for feedback or any interest in it - one would hope so!. I hope that after the weekend some people who do know more will comment.
  • In reply to Elizabeth:

    HI thanks for comming back to me. I have logged a complaint on line, but have asked then to consider it feedback as I totally understand that the system in under pressure, so i will see what comes back
  • In reply to Beverley Russell:

    I assume you have discounted the possibility that your es-employee filled in the paperwork correctly and in effect knew what he was asking for? Quite often these mistakes are as a result of the ex-employee ticking the wrong boxs.
  • In reply to Keith:

    Hi Keith
    I did consider it could have been the employee who made the error especialy as I had no specific deatils of why he was making the claim, i.e. there was no details of this on the ET. 1 I put this suggestion to the tribunal office who basicaally just totold me that it had been put before a duty judge and he had passed it for listing. I think what I found the most disconcerting is that both claims were out of date especially the claim for interim reliefe. I am not an expert on how trinbual claims are processed, I am naive in thinking that the there should at least be some basics checks in place?
  • In reply to Beverley Russell:

    Not naive but the Tribunal system is creaking and mistakes will be made

    I think you should get a different judge at the IR hearing and they need persuading that IR would be inappropriate
    It is worth getting professional advice as the purpose of IR is to reinstate pending a full hearing which would be very expensive
  • In reply to Peter Stanway:

    Thanks for this. However as the the employee has not appied for IR, he is going to contact the Tribunal to withdraw his claim ACAS are aware of this, and I have an email from them to confirm, Just a thought though I realise the purpose of IR is to reinsate, but how can this be an apporporiate remdy when his role was made redundant, there is no role to reinstate him into?