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Employment Tribunals

Often, workplace disputes can be resolved directly with your employer, but if this has failed, you may decide to take the dispute to the next stage which is an Employment Tribunal.

However, before a claim can be brought before an Employment Tribunal, you must contact ACAS to register your claim for Early Conciliation.

During Early Conciliation the ACAS Conciliator will attempt to contact your employer to try and resolve the issue to avoid it going before an Employment Tribunal.  The Conciliator is impartial and cannot give you advice and therefore you may wish to contact our specialist Employment Solicitors who can advise and guide you through this process.

If Conciliation is not possible you will be provided with a Certificate which you can use to go to the Employment Tribunal.

What is an Employment Tribunal?

An Employment Tribunal is an independent judicial body which has the power to make decisions on employment disputes.  The Tribunal is not as formal as a court, but any decision made at an Employment Tribunal is legally binding.  Generally, claims brought before an Employment Tribunal relate to:

  • Unfair dismissal
  • Constructive dismissal
  • Failure to consult an employee prior to them being made redundant
  • Breach of contract
  • Issues relating to equal pay
  • Discrimination claims
  • Failure to follow correct procedure during the disciplinary or grievance process.

Who is involved in an Employment Tribunal?

Employment Tribunal hearings are usually made up of the following people:

  • Employment Judge – Will hear the case and make the final decision
  • Claimant – the person bringing the claim (employee)
  • Respondent – the employer or representative of the employer
  • Witness(es) – anyone called to give evidence
  • Solicitor and / or Barrister – May represent either claimant or respondent
  • Two non-legal people who have business experience (in discrimination cases)

The prospect of starting and pursuing a claim at an Employment Tribunal may seem daunting but our experienced employment solicitors can support and guide you through the entire process, from obtaining witness statements to representation at the hearing.  We will clearly outline all of your options from the start and advise you of the best course of action to take.  It may be that we can negotiate a settlement agreement for you, rather than needing to go an Employment Tribunal.   If the best plan in your situation is an Employment Tribunal, we will ensure you are represented fairly throughout the hearing and make sure you understand what is happening at every stage.

It is essential you take professional legal advice if you are considering making an application to an Employment Tribunal.  You only have three months minus one day from the date the event occurred to submit your claim.

For further information, please contact our employment solicitor, Lisa Aitken on 01926 491181 or email

This area of work is under the ultimate supervision of Tim Ollerenshaw.


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