Employment Tribunals are specialist courts that only deal with employment claims. They do not deal with injury claims for example.
Since April 2014, you will need to speak to an ACAS advisor before being allowed to proceed with a formal tribunal complaint. You are also likely to have to pay a fee for making your tribunal claim – unless you are eligible for this fee to be waived due to low income and savings. For assistance with this, do call our HELP LINE.
It is very easy to make a complaint to a Tribunal. In fact you can even apply “on-line” using new technology. You do not have to have a legal representative at a Tribunal, in fact you can put your own case on the day if you feel able to do this. Normally costs are not awarded against you even if you lose your case. It is relatively simple to complete a tribunal application form – they are called ET1 forms. It is however best to get some advice before sending it off. This is because there are time limits and forms of words that should be used to give you the best chance of success at a Tribunal.You cannot normally change the nature of your claim at a later date. It is therefore important to get the content right before it goes into the system.
Originally tribunals were supposed to be quick and informal. However because of the high levels of compensation the process has become more formal as more and more employers and individuals take legal experts along with them.They are somewhat similar to a Magistrates Court. Witnesses are called and ,after swearing an oath in the witness box, are questioned by Representatives of both sides. This can be a daunting experience for some people.
If you would like more information on the Tribunal system and how to apply visit www.employmenttribunals.gov.uk