POA Circulars

180 | 11.12.2013

Employment tribunal proceedings and fees

The Legal Aid Committee has discussed the associated costs and problems which arise when issuing claims on behalf of members in Employment Tribunals, when the merits do not meet the Unions’ criteria or an assessment has not been possible, due to the claim being submitted outside of the criteria set out in the Legal Advice Handbook and limitation is imminent.

As you know the Union determined to establish a loan arrangement for members to ensure they were not out of pocket when issuing claims to the Tribunal, which met the Unions' criteria. This system has been working well. However, the Legal Aid Committee have legitimate concerns as to how the system operates when the claim does not meet the Unions’ criteria, the prospects are below 50% or a legal assessment has not been possible.
In order to minimise the risk of wasting members and or the Unions' money by issuing claims which subsequently have to be withdrawn, all Officials and members must complete the appropriate form from the Legal Advice Handbook as soon as possible and forward these to the Legal Department at Cronin House without delay.

I will remind you of the criteria as set out in the Legal Advice Handbook at 8.0 Employment Law claims, specifically 8.1. The time limit for most employment law claims is three months less a day. All applications must be submitted within two months otherwise your claim may be rejected.

In the following two cases members will be asked to pay the issue fee initially subject to repayment by the Union in certain circumstances;

  1. Where members' claims have been assessed and the member advised that their claim does not meet the Unions’ criteria, but the member has appealed to the Legal Aid Committee and or the National Executive Committee. In this type of case, if protective proceedings have to be issued before the Legal Aid Committee and or the National Executive Committee can hear the appeal, the member must pay the issue fee, but if their appeal is successful it will be repaid.
  2. Where members' claims are received so late that an assessment of prospects is not practicable before the time limit for bringing a claim has expired and protective proceedings have to be issued. In these cases if the delay is substantially due to the member, then the member must pay the issue fee, but if the subsequent case assessment meets the Unions’ criteria it will be repaid.


Please draw the contents of this circular to all your members.

Thanking you in anticipation of your support and co-operation.

Yours sincerely


 

STEVE GILLAN
General Secretary