Employment Law Funding Options for Employees
Whatever claim you have, whether it is unfair dismissal, discrimination, breach of contract, unpaid wages etc your funding options are the same and it is important you fully understand these and choose the right one for you.
This below information has been devised to assist you in understanding the main options available to you in order to fund your legal costs incurred with your solicitor or Legal Adviser in an Employment Tribunal claim.
There are some employees who, mistakenly, believe they have to fund a Tribunal Claim themselves and therefore miss out on what may rightfully be theirs.
There are three main funding options some, or all, of which may be available to you, they are as follows:-
- Legal Expense Insurance, No Win No Fee, Private funding
Legal Expence Insurance
The first is Legal Expense Insurance, it is something that many people don’t even realise they have.
Under some insurance policies (e.g. household insurance), you may have what is known as legal expense insurance for employment law matters. All policies vary, but generally this type of insurance will cover your legal fees incurred in bringing a claim or claims in an Employment Tribunal. This would mean you would not have to pay any legal costs yourself and you keep 100% of your damages.
Therefore, you should check all your insurance policies to see if there is such cover. You can do this by checking your policy document direct or failing that, by telephoning your insurer and asking if you have legal expense insurance cover for employment law claims.
If it transpires that you do have legal expense insurance cover, what will normally happen is that you will be sent an application form by your insurer for your completion. The form you are sent will ask you a variety of questions about your claim, including requiring you to provide the details of the claim itself.
Normally, legal expense insurance cover is only provided if your claim or claims have a 51% prospect of succeeding in an Employment Tribunal or Court. If it does not, then no cover will be provided.
Your insurer will assess whether your claim is covered based on the application form you complete and any documents you provide them. It is therefore absolutely critical that you complete your form correctly first time otherwise you can be turned down, irrespective of the validity of your claim.
It is therefore vital that:-
- All claims that you may have are clearly identified in the application form.
- The details of your claim or claims set out in the application form are as clear and comprehensive as possible.
- All relevant documentation (if requested) is set out in a manageable bundle.You cite the witnesses in your case who may give evidence to support your claim(s).
It can be daunting completing the application form as you may not know what is and what is not relevant. Also, you may not know if you have any claims in addition to that contemplated, which arise out of the same facts, which you should be bringing. In view of this and given the hurdle of satisfying your insurer that your claim(s) have at least 51% prospects of success, it is worth obtaining legal assistance from a specialist employment law solicitor to help you in completing the application form.
We offer a free service to assist you in completing the insurers application form and in order to benefit from this free service simply complete the online form detailing your case. We will then happily contact you to discuss how to move matters forward.
If your application is successful, your insurer may advise that you use one of their own panel solicitors and not your nominated legal adviser with whom you may have developed a rapport. In this event, you should insist on your own solicitor being used. However, if the insurer does not accept this, then what you can do is allow the panel Firm to prepare and issue your claim in the Employment Tribunal at which point you can then instruct your own legal adviser to carry on the claim on your behalf. This would need to be done with the agreement of your insurer albeit they would not be able to prevent you from using your chosen legal adviser so long as your legal adviser agrees to the insurer’s reasonable terms of instruction. In the alternative, your legal adviser may agree to prepare and issue your Tribunal claim without charge so that once proceedings are issued the insurers cannot object to the appointment as your nominated legal adviser.
No Win No Fee
The basis of this type of funding is that your legal adviser will take as their fee a percentage of the damages they recover for you either by way of a negotiated settlement of your claim or after a Tribunal hearing, plus payment of any disbursements incurred on your behalf. The maximum percentage that your solicitor is allowed to take is 35% (including VAT). If, however, there is no settlement and no damages made by the Employment Tribunal, then no fee will be charged except possibly for disbursements.
There is no obligation for your legal adviser to offer a No Win No Fee option, in fact many do not. When considering whether to take your case on under a No Win No Fee agreement, your legal adviser is likely to take into account the merits of your case (i.e. the likelihood of success in an Employment Tribunal) and the value of your claim.
This is the way in which we decide to offer No Win No Fee funding ourselves. As such, if you believe you have a case that you want to take to an Employment Tribunal and wish to us to consider taking your case on under a No Win No Fee agreement simply complete your details online and we will be in touch to discuss it with you. You are not obligated to use us, we will simply ensure you have all the right information to make a fully qualified decision about how to proceed.
As it implies, this is where you fund part or all of the case privately yourself and are liable for your legal advisers fees, irrespective of the outcome of your case.
Legal advisers’ rates vary considerably, so it is well worth shopping around for the most suitably qualified legal adviser to act for you at the best hourly rate.
As specialists in Employment Law we are very well qualified to handle your claim in an Employment Tribunal, or any other employment issue you have. Equally as important, we have made a conscious decision to offer reasonable hourly rates that continue to be seen by our clients as highly competitive. So to get a professional, specialised employment law service or just to discuss your case without obligation call now 01132770916 and we will be happy to help.