If you believe that your employer has treated you unfairly, has unfairly dismissed you or has discriminated against you in some way, you may be in the process of hiring an employment law lawyer to fight your case for you. If this is your first time meeting with such a lawyer, this guide can be helpful in knowing what to bring and what to expect.

Once you suspect that one of the above problems has arisen, it is important that you contact an employment law lawyer as soon as possible (as the longer you leave a problem, the harder it is to resolve). They will organise a meeting with you, and you should make sure that you come prepared with the following information:

• The length of time that you have worked for the employer in question

• How much you earn at that position

• Your contract of employment and your job description (which is usually found in your contract)

• Any details surrounding the problems you are experiencing in the workplace

• The events that have led to your current situation

• Any relevant documents that you have (if there are any documents that you think might be useful for you but are not in your possession, make a note of them and notify your lawyer)

• What steps you have taken thus far to rectify the problem

It is likely that your lawyer will encourage you to try resolving the problems internally (through your company’s grievance procedures, for example), as this can help to ensure that problems are dealt with as quickly as possible. This will take the form of a ‘compromise settlement’, which both you and your employer sign, that settles the terms of the dispute. In some cases, however, you may find that this internal procedure is not equipped to deal with your problem or that they are not taking your complaint seriously.

If this better describes your situation, it is likely that your employment law lawyer will take your case to an employment tribunal to be rectified. At the tribunal, your case will be heard by one employment law specialist (usually a judge or a lawyer) and two lay members (who will have specific experience in the issue you are complaining about). The tribunal will look over the facts and evidence of the case and will make a decision regarding what sort of action should be taken against your employer (if any).