Employment Tribunal

Caragh Bailey
3 min read
Employment tribunal process from employment law friend

In the UK the employment tribunal used to be called the industrial tribunal. Northern Ireland has the industrial tribunal and the fair employment tribunal. Read about the tribunals for Northern Ireland here.

What is an employment tribunal?

The employment tribunal is an independent body of legal officials who hear claims and make decisions in legal disputes between workers, employees, employers, potential employers and trade unions.

You take your claim or dispute to the employment tribunal and they hear both sides of the argument and decide the outcome.

You are the ‘claimant’ and the person you are taking to court is the ‘respondent’.

How much does an employment tribunal cost?

Making a claim to the employment tribunal is free . If you choose to have a solicitor represent you then the costs can be considerable. If you win your costs are often not recoverable.

ACAS early conciliation is a free service which can help you settle your dispute without going to tribunal at all.
Click here to read more about ACAS early conciliation.

What are the grounds for an employment tribunal?

There are many reasons that you may need to make a claim to tribunal, some of these include:
  • Unfair dismissal
    You were fired unfairly, or your employer failed to follow correct disciplinary or dismissal procedure.
  • Discrimination
    Based on race, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief.
  • Unfair deductions from your pay
    Including a redundancy pay dispute.
  • Constructive dismissal
    You were forced to leave because of your employers behaviour.
  • Breach of employment contract
    Your employer failed to meet the terms you agreed to in your contract of employment.
  • Harassment
    Unwelcome behaviour towards you, motivated by your race, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief.
  • Bullying
    If it is so severe that you have had to leave your job because of it.
  • Grievance
    If you have raised a grievance and your employer has failed to carry out correct procedure, or fired you because of it (unfair dismissal).

Before you go to tribunal
Try what you can to solve the problem first.
  • Discuss the issue informally with your employer.
  • Raise a formal grievance, if you cannot find a solution informally.
  • Appeal the grievance outcome, if it was not satisfactory.
  • Or; Appeal a disciplinary outcome, if it was unfair against you.
  • Follow the advice relevant to your case in our other articles.
  • Make sure you keep a diary of these events and copies of all letters, emails, texts relating to them.
  • Collect evidence that supports your claim.

Frequently Asked Questions
You don’t have to hire a solicitor to go to tribunal, but it is worth considering if:
  • You are likely to win compensation higher than the solicitor’s fee.
  • Your case is very complicated.
  • Your respondent also has legal representation.
  • You can afford it.

We can help you keep costs as low as possible with our free law guides and template documents for you to buy and use for your tribunal case. Our specialist employment law solicitors can step in at any time, if you decide that you need legal representation.

DIY with our help
  • FREE Employment law guides
  • Paid download template documents
  • Drafted by solicitors
  • Cost effective
Hire the Professionals
  • Panel of Specialist Employment Law Solicitors
  • We can step in at any point
  • Competitive Costs
  • Rated Excellent on Trustpilot

Featuring the preliminary hearing, what happens if you win and what to do if you lose.

This content is provided free of charge for information purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. No responsibility for the accuracy and/or correctness of the information and commentary set out in the article, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed or accepted by any member of our company. For employment law advice please get in contact and speak to your employment law solicitors.
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Please be advised that we are a UK company and our advice applies to employment law in England and Wales, only.
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