With the abolition of claimants having to pay fees to bring claims in the Employment Tribunal, employers nationwide have seen a significant increase in claims being lodged.
If you receive a claim from a disgruntled employee or ex-employee there are specific timeframes set by the Tribunal which employers must comply with. For example, it is vital that claims are responded to in writing within a deadline of 28 days. The time starts running from the date that the Tribunal sends out the claim form. Failure to do so would result in the Tribunal issuing what is known as a default judgment which prevents an employer from being able to defend the claims being brought against them.
This deadline can be particularly problematic for schools during the summer closure period particularly if a claim is received on the last few days of term or even during the summer holidays. Schools may find that they return to school at the start of September only to find that they have missed the deadline for responding.
So what can schools do in such circumstances? At ELS the Employment Team can assist in supporting employers in such circumstances, either by preparing a response on your behalf or making relevant applications to try to extend the timeframe of any deadlines.
Please contact the Employment Team should you wish to have a chat about what you can do if you have received such a claim or you think you may be likely to receive a claim.
Legal Services Manager (Employment Law)
T: 0333 013 9606
T: 0333 013 9609