If so, there are a number of issues that you should think about before making a claim.
What do you hope to achieve by making a claim? Do you simply want to be compensated for what has happened?
Alternatively, do you simply want to make an appropriate signal that things have to change in the organisation? If it is the latter, do you need to make a claim rather than raise a grievance?
Do you feel must resign as a result? You don’t necessarily have to. You could remain in post (and paid) and protected by virtue of the law relating to victimisation. Is this going to be practical however? Will your health be affected by having to go back into a potentially negative environment?
If you are not going to return – are you in fact contemplating a case for constructive dismissal as well? If so, do you have good grounds to make such a claim? What additional issues arise, such as considerations about when and what basis you should resign?
Otherwise, have you considered the other issues listed below?
Would you have a good case in law if you did make a claim?
There is a difference in having a complaint or grievance against your employer – and having a valid legal claim against it. Discrimination often occurs because you have been treated less favourably than others in the workplace due to your:
This might manifest itself in a number of ways, including: insulting behaviour, denial of benefits, being picked on or harassed, being victimised for raising complaints about such matters or generally being treated worse than others.
In pleading any such claim in a claim form, you should be wary that the legal tests that are applied in order to detect discrimination are a lot more complex than you might think. It is easy to lose a claim of discrimination where it has not been properly set out or thought out.
Are you in time to make a claim?
Time limits for discrimination claims run from the day on which the discriminatory act occurred. You should assume you have three months minus a day from that point to make a claim otherwise it is very likely that you will be debarred from making a claim. There are limited exceptions – if you are concerned, give us a call. You should however move fast as you need to factor in enough time for a lawyer to draft your pleadings if you are going to make a claim.
What would it be worth?
This is actually a difficult question to answer, to get an accurate assessment, you should ask a lawyer to help you. We can judge what assumptions a Tribunal might make in your case and explain how these affect the compensation you might be awarded. The potential brackets for compensation range between £500-£30,000.
In addition, our lawyers are trained in all aspects of employment law and are able to spot claims that you might not have thought of, which could result in significant additional compensation being awarded.
What would it cost to bring a claim?
You can find this out by clicking on the tab above marked ‘what would it cost’.
Where you have legal expenses insurance under a household-insurance policy, it should cost you nothing – but remember to activate your insurance immediately. You should feel free to nominate us as your solicitors under that policy. Alternatively, you may have access to other free sources of legal advice (via a union, a Citizens’ Advice Bureau, and advice centre or in very limited circumstances, though a legal aid firm).
We offer fixed fee options, a type of ‘no win no fee’ agreement or litigation services based upon our hourly rate of £170 + VAT per hour.
Are there any alternatives to making a claim which get you what you want?
Is it an apology or simply recognition of your side of things that you want? Can an early settlement be achieved? If so, how? What do you say to get your employer to do this?
What is involved?
Making a claim involves a big commitment.
It usually takes between 6-10 months to progress a claim to final hearing, but it can take longer than that.
You can find out what’s involved by clicking the tab marked: ‘Got a claim?’. This sets out the litigation process in a diagram.
You should bear in mind however that you will be advised on your options in terms of settling any claim throughout this process and it may be that you don’t need to go through all of this.
For more information the following lawyers will be able to help with Discriminated against?.