I’m thinking of taking my Force to an employment tribunal due to their poor treatment of my disability – what advice can you give me?
The first point that we must make is that we cannot give legal advice, but we can signpost you to others who are qualified to provide legal assistance.
Making a claim to an employment tribunal should be considered carefully. If you haven’t done so already, speak to your Federation or union rep, and seek legal advice (your rep may be able to arrange this).
A few things to consider (this is not an exhaustive list):
- Prior to bringing an ET, you should have given your Force the opportunity to put things right – the grievance process is there to help resolve disputes
- As of July 2017, there is no fee for bringing a case to an ET
- Legal aid is not available to pay for a solicitor to represent you at an ET, however the Federation or your union may fund your legal fees, depending on the merits of your case
- An ET will be a stressful experience – you can expect your Force to vigorously contest your case, and to raise any performance, integrity or disciplinary issues, which will become part of the public record (see below)
- If you win your case, any award of compensation is likely to be in the region of a few months’ salary, dependent on the nature of the case – i.e. not a life-changing amount
- A Force does not have to acknowledge wrongdoing in the event of losing an ET, and may appeal the judgement
- Your Force may offer to settle your case out-of-court – this is usually on a “no liability” basis
- ET proceedings and rulings are in the public domain – the ET may be reported in the press, and in the age of the internet, all details including your name will be available online in perpetuity for anyone to see. (Anonymity is granted for certain cases, but this is not an automatic right.)