The Employment Tribunals are an independent judicial body established to resolve disputes between employers and employees over employment rights. The Employment tribunal will hear and make decisions about employment disputes such as unfair dismissal, discrimination, wages and redundancy payments.
Employment Tribunals are designed to be less formal than a court, i.e. no one wears a wig or gown. However, like a court, tribunals cannot give out legal advice, almost all hearings are open to the public, and evidence will be given under oath or affirmation.
It is very difficult to tell you what the average cost of defending a claim might be because it depends upon the nature of the claim but most cases I think an employer would expect to spend at these four five thousand pounds in defending the claim and in cases which are bigger cases which require multiple days to be heard typically cases involving discrimination or multiple claims then quite often the legal fees can easily run into five figure sums.
An employer can defend a claim without legal representation, although it's normally advisable for most employees to be represented. The tribunal service does try very hard to accommodate the private employer and small employer who is attending tribunal perhaps the first time and would like to represent themselves.
The test of whether it especially is fair it depends upon whether the employer has behaved reasonably in all the circumstances of the case. If an employer has not followed a fair procedure it's very unlikely that they will be able to persuade a tribunal that they have behaved reasonably in treating the conduct as a sufficient reason to dismiss.