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Facing a tribunal claim, even if you feel you have acted reasonably and appropriately, can be daunting. The steps that you take in the wake of receiving notice of a claim can be vital to your prospects of a successful outcome.
It is very important that you do not act in haste should you receive notice of a claim. You need to evaluate the position calmly and try to avoid letting your emotions take over. So, step number one is to take a few deep breaths and put the kettle on.
You may have insurance in place to cover some or all of your legal expenses relating to an employment claim. Therefore, you should review your insurance policy documents to ascertain whether you have relevant cover in place and if there is a particular firm that you are required to use.
The claim might relate to matters that happened some months ago and may involve multiple people meaning it can be difficult to be clear what happened and when. To help clarify matters and to make your first contact with a lawyer as effective as possible it is helpful to have a clear chronology of events leading to the claim.
You may feel that the claim has no prospects of success or that you are able to handle matters yourself. However, it can be difficult to be objective about a claim aimed at you and your business. Speaking to a professional will help you to evaluate your options and avoid potentially costly errors.
It can be easy to fall into the trap of blaming yourself and/or your staff for HR failings leading to the claim. However adopting a blame culture is likely to exacerbate matters and is unlikely to lead to an improvement in working practices. It is important to consider what circumstances led to the claim and how matters might be handled differently in future. It may also be a good time to consider whether external employment and HR support is needed.
If you are facing a claim or reviewing your employment practices and need advice please contact Eve Lakin via firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01270 625478.
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