How to Bring a Case Before the Employment Tribunal

How to Bring a Case Before the Employment Tribunal

Whilst necessary for most people, holding down a job isn’t always easy or straightforward. Sometimes your ability to perform your role is limited by a number of external influences which can have a negative effect on your performance or willingness to work.

If these influences are a direct result of unlawful treatment by a past or current employer, you have every right to make a case against them and ensure that your side of the story is heard.

Here we’ll provide you with the information you need to help you decide whether the employment tribunal process is the best course of action.

When You Can Make a Claim

A claim can be brought about due to;

  • Unfair dismissal resulting in you losing your job
  • Discrimination that has affected your ability to perform your role
  • If your wages or salary have unfairly been subject to deductions

There are also many other reasons why you might have a valid case. It should be noted that cases can also be brought against potential employers where you feel as though you were discriminated against during the interview process.

If you’re a member of a trade union, tribunal action can be brought against them for the reasons outlined above.

Not including any extenuating circumstances, you are generally expected to file your claim within 3 months of your employment ending or of the incident taking place.

What to Do Next

Since May 2014, it has been compulsory to notify the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) before you officially make your claim.

ACAS will hear your complaint and engage with you and the respondent in an attempt to settle the dispute without it reaching court. This process is known as ‘Early Conciliation’ and is free.

Time spent in early conciliation doesn’t affect the overall deadline for your claim. If unsuccessful, ACAS will present you with a certificate which you will need to present when you make your claim with the tribunal.

You can make a claim through the following channels;

  • Online via the UK government tribunal web service
  • Via the postal service where you will need to fill in a form with all of the relevant details
  • Through the talk-through service which is only available if you cannot use a computer. Someone will guide you through the process and ask you a series of questions to log your claim.

After Your Claim

Once your claim has been logged, the respondent will have 28 days to formally reply. Once they have replied, the tribunal will decide on whether a full hearing is necessary or whether a decision can now be made.

If a hearing is required you will be presented with a list of information to gather. If there were any witnesses to the incident or treatment they should be contacted and requested to attend. The court can force attendance if a witness fails to comply.

To give you the best possible chance of succeeding it would be wise to appoint a solicitor. A corporate law solicitor in Leeds will be able to offer guidance and attend the court hearing with you. A solicitor trained in corporate law will also be able to give you further advice prior to deciding on going forward with any employment tribunal action.

In any case, it is important to know your rights so make sure that every detail of the complaint is noted at the time it takes place. The outcome of the claim will be dependent on these details.

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