Employment Tribunal proceedings for employees

Stephen Britton

14 August 2017

Expert employment solicitor Stephen Britton explains and answers some questions on Employment Tribunal proceedings for employees.

The Employment Tribunals are an independent judicial body established by the government to resolve disputes between employers (respondents) and employees (claimants) over employment rights.

When can employees make a claim?

Employees can make a claim to an employment tribunal if they think they have been treated unlawfully, such as your employer, a potential employer or a trade union.

Unlawful treatment can include:

  • unfair dismissal
  • discrimination
  • unfair deductions
  • Redundancy

What is the qualifying period in order for an employee to bring a tribunal claim?

The qualifying period to bring, what is often referred to as an ordinary unfair dismissal claim is two years continuous service with the employer prior to the effective date of termination. But there are certain types of unfair dismissal claims that are automatically affair that don't require any qualifying service and no qualifying service is required to bring a claim for discrimination, you don't even need to be an employee to bring a claim discrimination, you can actually simply be an applicant for a job.

What is the normal process for bringing a tribunal claim?

The procedure to start an employment tribunal claim is by completing an online form on the employer tribunal service website or by completing the form having printed it off from the website and then hand delivering it to one of the employment tribunal service offices that are designated to receive application forms and throughout the UK.

Do you have to go through ACAS before bringing a employment tribunal claim?

As part of the government's initiative to encourage employers and employees to resolve their disputes without going to employment tribunals, there is a requirement in most cases to contact ACAS before bringing a claim to an employment tribunal. Not every claim requires the employee to first contact ACAS, so that information is something you should seek advice from beforehand but the general rule before bringing a claim to the employment tribunal an employee would be expected to make a notification to ACAS.

How long can the whole process take?

The employment tribunal process will take something usually several months although it will depend on the nature of the claim some discrimination claims will take a lot longer.

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