Employment tribunals


If you are not happy with the way you are treated at work, you should make your concerns known to your employer - preferably in writing. If you don’t think you can write to your employer, an employment solicitor can help you word your letter.

Your employer has to respond to your complaint, as if they do not, you could then take them to an employment tribunal.

What is an employment tribunal?

Employment tribunals in the UK have the jurisdiction to hear a wide range of employment disputes. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Unfair dismissal
  • Discrimination claims
  • Redundancy payment
  • Equal pay disputes
  • Complaints in relation to maternity and paternity rights

In most cases, to bring claims in employment tribunals the claimants must be employees, although there are some circumstances in which regular workers can bring claims.

To make a formal application to an employment law office you must first complete form ET1. You can get this form from the Tribunals Service website, or alternatively from your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

Time limits

There are stringent time limits for bringing claims in employment tribunals, which vary dependent on the type of claim being brought. For some claims, the time limit is three months. Employment tribunals do have the power to extend these time limits, but only exercise this power in exceptional circumstances.

Judge’s power

Judges sitting in tribunals have similar powers to judges sitting in civil courts. These powers are given to them by the Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2004.

These regulations give judges extremely wide case-management powers. For example, a judge may order that both the employee and employer attend a case-management hearing. At one of these hearings the judge will set out a timetable detailing how the case is to progress and within what sort of time frame.

Another power a judge has in an employment tribunal is the power to order a party to disclose information to the other side.
Like in civil cases, the other party should request disclosure of information from the other side before seeking a disclosure order from a tribunal. There are strict procedures for cases going to tribunal, and a solicitor’s help is vital.

If you are thinking about filing a claim with the employment tribunal, Contact Law can put you in touch with an employment specialist who will recommend the best course of action for our case. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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