It is generally best to resolve differences internally between the employer and employee, however, when disputes cannot be resolved they may need to be brought before an employment tribunal.

Employment tribunals usually comprise of a panel that includes an employment judge and two non-legal people who have business experience. Witnesses may be put forward for both the employer and the employee and after hearing the case, the panel will reach a legally-binding decision.

Claims can be brought at an employment tribunal if there has been unlawful treatment.

Unlawful treatment can include among others unfair dismissal and discrimination. A claim to the Tribunal has to be made within 3 months of the employment ending or the issue arising.

The tribunal is independent of government and will listen to both parties before making a decision.

Before making a claim, it is necessary to inform the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) of the intention to make a claim before the tribunal. ACAS will offer the opportunity to try and settle the dispute without the need to go to an employment tribunal. If conciliation fails, ACAS will then issue an early conciliation certificate which you will need to make a claim at the Tribunal.

The respondent usually will need to reply to the claim within 28 days of receiving the claim form. Once the Tribunal has received their reply, they will decide whether there will be a full hearing.

The matter may then proceed to a preliminary hearing where the judge will decide on whether part or all of the claim can go ahead, date and time of a hearing and how long the hearing should take.

We carry out the following services for Preparation and Legal Representation at an Employment Tribunal:

  • Taking your initial instructions, reviewing and arranging your documents and advising you on the merits and likely compensation
  • Preparing or considering a Schedule of Loss
  • Preparing for (and attending) Preliminary Hearing
  • Exchanging List of Documents and copies with the other party
  • Organising Witnesses
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements
  • Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing, including preparing instructions to the barrister

The time frame from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation/negotiation, your case is likely to take 3-6 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 9-12 months.

This time frame is an estimate and may change should any unforeseen complexities arise. We will always inform and provide you with a revised estimate. There may be periods when tribunals take longer in dealing with cases because of limited availability of judges or complexity of the case.