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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 73826
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Advice regarding my case. I am taking my ex employer to

Customer Question

Hello?
JA: Hi. How can I help?
Customer: advice regarding my case. I am taking my ex employer to court for unfair dismissal based on discrimination
JA: Have you discussed this discrimination issue with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: I tried to discuss this with my employer but they are no admitting liability. I have tried ACAS mediation. My case is supposed to have the final hearing in November and my current solicitor who was from a Charity has pulled out because she believes that there is a low chance of success.
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: I am an employee. I managed to get a job elsewhere pretty soon afterwards. However they sacked me while I was on sick leave with work related stress. I had previously told them that I suffered from mental health problems and they are denying this.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I have the document bundle ready and I have to exchange witness statements next month. I would like to know if it worth me pursuing this case and if my ex-employer can use me for money.
Submitted: 13 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

What do you specifically want to know about this, please? Please note this is not always an instant service and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I am dealing with your question and will get back to you today. Thanks

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Hi Ben. First of all can my ex-employer ask for reimbursement of their legal costs if I am taking them to tribunal.
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Unfortunately Ben, I can't afford to pay £44 at the moment, so please can we continue by text.
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
I would also like to know if it is worth me taking them to tribunal. As my previous solicitor said that the chances of success are low.
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
I told my ex employer during my employment that I suffered from mental health issues. They applied pressure to me in the workplace, breaching my contract by making me work away and affecting my mental health. I finally went on sick leave in Jan 2020. 5 weeks later they sacked me because they had problems with my conduct and denied all knowledge of me suffering from mental health issues.
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
I was working for them for approx 15 months. They say they follow acas guidelines, however no formal disciplinary procedures were followed. They were found to be in breach of GDPR by the ICO, as they told the entire UK office that they sacked me before telling me they sacked me.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

Thank you very much for clarifying. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

Just to clarify at the outset, the rules I work under do not allow me to discuss your chances of success in court. When solicitors determine these, we would conduct a formal case analysis and take the full details and evidence that are available into consideration. On this site we deal with very limited information in a Q&A format, so inevitably certain details and evidence will be missed. Therefore, if we discussed prospects of success based on this limited information alone, we could end up giving misguided advice and prompt you into either making a claim or not making one, when in reality we may have advised the opposite had we known the full details. That is why we are only limited to discussing the legal position and your options, without actually commenting on how good or bad a case you have.

When it comes to the question on costs, the usual position is that the losing party does not pay the winning party’s legal costs. However, there are circumstances when this is not the case and generally it is only when one party has acted in a vexatious or unreasonable manner, to such a degree that the proceedings were severely affected by their conduct.

Another possibility is if you were pursuing a case which had no reasonable prospects of success and were warned by the Employment Tribunal or the other party about it, but unreasonably carried on with it regardless.

So this last part is where you most likely run the risks of costs against you being awarded by the Employment Tribunal but it will only be if you continued with it despite formal warnings that it is weak and should not continue. It would not be at this stage but later on, once you make the claim and it is accepted in the Employment Tribunal and it progresses, but they then issue you with the formal warnings.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
The employment tribunal has not said that it is a weak case to me. They have accepted it and given me dates for formal/final hearing date in November. I have also had the preliminary hearing and I am at the stage where we are looking to exchange witness statements. If the tribunal were to give me a warning for case being weak would they have done that by now?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

They could have but also it is not a given, Also, it is not necessarily going to involve them – it can just be a formal warning by the other side without the Employment Tribunal being involved in it

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Please can you clarify what you mean by unreasonably going ahead with the case even if the otherside says that I should not continue. Surely, the otherside are likely to say they don't want to continue because no employer wants to go to tribunal. Please can you clarify this.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

Yes obviously they can say that at any time but in the end it depends on whether this had any merit to it. So this will still be examined in detail by the Employment Tribunal before the order any costs

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Ok. That makes sense. Can you provide me with some advice on how to write a witness statement please.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

I am afraid that is beyond the scope of the basic chat service we offer. There are however various resources where you can get some hints and tips:

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/problems-at-work/employment-tribunals/preparing-an-employment-tribunal-case/#h-witness-statements

https://www.lrdpublications.org.uk/downloads/WitnessStatement.pdf

https://www.monacosolicitors.co.uk/tribunals/witness-statements/

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Thank you very much for your help Ben. It's very much appreciated.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 13 days ago.

You are most welcome and all the best