Arbitration in employment


Any disputes that arise in the workplace can often be resolved by using arbitration services.

Using arbitration services avoids the need to use an employment tribunal. If you are in dispute with your employer, you can use an outside arbitration service to act as an intermediary. As they are outsiders, they can have an impartial view of your dispute. In Scotland an arbitrator is called an arbiter.

Is it the same as mediation?

You should not confuse arbitration services with mediation or conciliation services.

Arbitrators are like judges in a court of law. Whatever decision they make both parties in the dispute must comply with. Arbitration services are popular, as they can provide a fast and efficient solution to a dispute without the time and cost of a tribunal.

Unless all parties in your dispute agree, the decision of the arbitrator will not normally be legally binding.

Arbitration and Acas

However, if you use Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service), in some cases their decisions are legally binding. If you are unsure, always check to ensure you understand the legal standing of your dispute and whether the decision at the end of the arbitration will be binding.

If you decide to use the services of an Acas arbitrator, all parties must agree to this in writing. Once these arbitration contracts are signed they are binding. However, each party in the dispute can still pull out at anytime. The important thing to remember is that if you do, you can’t then use an employment tribunal for your case.

Will I need representation?

The type of dispute you have will generally determine what type of legal representation you will need. Arbitration services exist to help all parties in a dispute to come to an amicable solution. If the dispute has a legal component, it may be in your best interest to have legal representation in any arbitration meetings or discussions.

If you would like to obtain legal advice about arbitration services, Caven can put you in touch with a local specialist employment / arbitration solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local employment / arbitration solicitors please call us on 08001 221 2299 or complete the web-form above.

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