Ultimate Employment
Tribunal Guide

What is an Employment Tribunal?

Employment tribunals facilitate decision making regarding employment disputes. Employment disputes that are not resolved at the workplace or cases which have a legal binding are heard at the employment tribunals. In other words, almost all legal cases with respect to employment are heard in the employment tribunals. Although, both the employer and employee can opt for an alternative procedure to resolve the difference of opinion, a few employee matters are still addressed at an employment tribunal. It is essential for both the parties to have a carefully planned procedure that can help in preparing good evidence, making it uncomplicated to support the actions. Nowadays, the employment law interpretations are turning in favor of employees. Hence, it becomes imperative to understand how the tribunal and the systems functions. The employment tribunal addresses cases such as unjust dismissal, joblessness, unfair deduction of pay, and inequity. Apart from these, the tribunal takes care of other claims as well.

What is an Employment Tribunal?

If an employee thinks he / she has received an unlawful treatment from either an employer or trade union, the employee can file for a claim to an employment tribunal. As per the guidelines, a claim to the tribunal has to be made within three (3) months from employment ending or the issue arising. The tribunal is an independent body from the government and before making any decision the tribunal will listen to both the claimant and the respondent.

Prior to making a claim some official Employment Tribunal procedure need to be followed:

  • It is imperative to notify the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) regarding the objective of the claim
    • Without going to the court, an option is given to make an effort and settle the dispute by using Early Conciliation service (Acas’s free service)
    • If the conciliation doesn’t materialize, a certificate is issued which can be used when making a claim to the tribunal

The deadline is extended by the time spent in conciliation. That means, if three (3) weeks are spent in conciliation, the deadline is extended by 3 weeks. The claimant/respondent will get as a minimum one month to file for employment tribunal claim. For any query, Contact Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.

Acas Contact Number

Line Acas Helpline Number
Telephone: 0300-123-1100
Text-phone: 18001-0300-123-1100

Acas Opening Hours:

Day Timing
Monday to Friday 8 AM to 8 PM
Saturday 9 AM to 1 PM
Sunday Closed

Employment Tribunal Unfair Dismissal

Though there are some exceptions but mostly employee needs 2 years of continuous service before he / she can claim most types of unfair dismissal. Compensation is given to any successful claim based on the lost earnings of the employee. Since 29 July 2013, a cap has been put on the compensatory award for unfair dismissal, which at present is the lower of £78,335 or 52 weeks pay. From 6 April 2016, this has been increased to £78,962.

Employment Tribunal Fees

To make employment tribunal claim certain amount of fee has to be paid. The amount is decided depending on the personal circumstances and the sort of case. Certain types of cases can be:

Type of Case Claim Fee Hearing Fee
Unpaid wages £160 £230
Discrimination £250 £950
Unfair dismissal £250 £950
Breach of contract £160 £230
Equal pay £250 £950
Redundancy pay £160 £230
Whistle-blowing £250 £950

The fee amount can be paid by:

  • For online application, the fee can be paid via a debit or credit card
  • For application by post, a cheque or postal order needs to be made out to ‘HM Courts and Tribunals Service’

Since 29 July 2013, a fee is applicable for a claim at the tribunal and if the claim goes for hearing another fee amount is applicable. It is not possible to make a claim without paying the fee.

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Employment Appeal Tribunal

Once a claim is applied, the respondent typically needs to send a written reply to the claim with 28 days of receiving the claim form. In this written reply, the respondent explains their point of view and the analysis of the case. Once the tribunal receives the response, they will take a call on whether a full hearing is required or not to decide the case. In-case, the tribunal doesn’t receive any response from the respondent it is then the tribunal’s call if it wants to decide the case without having the hearing.

Employment Tribunal cases – Preliminary Hearing

The claimant may be asked to go through a preliminary hearing, with the judge, to decide on certain things:

  • whether part or all of your claim can go ahead
  • the date and time of a hearing
  • duration of the hearing

Employment Tribunal cases - Pre-hearing Review

Before the main hearing takes place for the employment tribunal, a pre-hearing review takes place which is a shorter hearing. Either the tribunal will decide if there will be a pre-hearing or the employee/employer can ask for a review with regards to preparing for the case. The people present at a pre-hearing review usually are the tribunal judge, employee and employer, or their representatives. In certain employment tribunal cases the tribunal might ask the employee or the employer to pay a deposit. This situation arises if the tribunal feels that the case does not have a fair chance of success.

Documentation Process

Both the parties involved in the case can ask for documents that will be helpful during the proceedings of the case. These documents can be:

  • Employment contract
  • Salary slips
  • Pension scheme details
  • duration of the hearing

The tribunal will issue an order with the timetable for exchange of documents. It will also issue a letter stating the number of copies of each document to be carried at the hearing

Organise Witnesses

Both the parties can get witnesses to the trial if they have substantial evidence regarding the case. The tribunal can issue an order to the witness to be present, if they don’t come. A written application needs to be given to the tribunal with:

  • Details (name, address) of the witness
  • Details of the information the witness has and how can that information be helpful for the case
  • Reason for denial

Manchester Employment Tribunal Helpline


Alexandra House

14-22 The Parsonage


M3 2JA

Email: manchesteret@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk
Telephone: 0161 833 6100
Fax: 0870 739 4433
Opening hours
Counter open: 9 AM to 4 PM
Telephone Enquiries from: 8:30 AM to 5 PM
Tribunal open: Monday to Friday 8:30 AM to 5 PM

London Central Employment Tribunal Helpline


Ground Floor

Victory House

30-34 Kingsway



Telephone: 020 7273 8603
Fax: 01264 785 100
Email: londoncentralet@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk

How to apply for Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT)

Founded in 1975, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has jurisdiction over England, Scotland and Wales. EAT is a superior court of record. It hears the problems related to employment from England, Scotland and Wales.

Any person can appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal at any given time when such a person feels that a legal mistake was made in an employment tribunal case.

A person can appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) whenever the person feels that a legal mistake has been made of any nature. Here are some examples to help you out:

  • The application of the law and regulations for the case was wrong.
  • The wrong law was being addressed to dissolve the dispute or the case.
  • There was an unjust, biased decision made in favour of the other party.
  • The proper procedures and proper regulations were not followed during the case.
  • There was no evidence to support the decision of the court.

Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) is an independent body, which will listen to all the complaints and problems faced by the concerned parties and will offer a true and fair decision.

Although there is no such rule to do something before you make your appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), it is advised to write to the tribunal and get the reasons for the decision of the case. However, this is not mandatory. Even if you do not have the reasons for the decision, you can still make an appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT).

To make an appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), you need to fill out the notice of appeal form. You need to add all the details as asked by the form and submit it to the required authority. Furthermore, there is no fee to be paid for such submission of the notice to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT).

There are many cases and judgments that are confusing. In case of any confusion, you can take the help of any legal counsel of your choice. Take your matter and case to the counsel and ask for advice. This will help you understand the intricacies of the case and the judgment. And if after such counsel, you are of the opinion that the decision taken was unjust or not correct due to some reason, you can make your appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT).

Other than this, you can get free advice at the following:

Or you could contact:

EAT public enquiry line
Telephone: 020 7273 1041 (England and Wales)
Telephone: 0131 225 3963 (Scotland)

Additionally, it is advised that a person who wishes to make an appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), should first go through the practice direction and appeal guidance.

Yes, there is a deadline to make an appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT). The appeal should be made within 42 days on either of the following situations:

  • The day the decision was sent to you or
  • The day when you received the reasons for the case (this applies only when the reasons for the case and its decisions were not given during the session of court for the said case or the person had asked for the reasons for the said case within 14 days from the decision being sent to the person).

It must be remembered that to make an appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), the appeal must arrive at the office by 4PM on the final day. Any delay in receiving or making such as appeal will not be considered and will not be accepted.

There are some cases where the law grants some extensions to the appeals made. However, such extensions are extremely rare and are provided only when the applicant has a good supporting reason for the delay and for requesting an extension.

To send an appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), you must send it to the following addresses:

For England and Wales:

Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT)
Email londoneat@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk
Telephone: 020 7273 1041
Fax: 01264 785 028
Address: Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) Second Floor Fleetbank House 2-6 Salisbury Square London EC4Y 8AE

For Scotland:

Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT)
Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT)
Email edinburgheat@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk
Telephone: 0131 225 3963
Fax: 01264 785 030
Address: Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) George House 126 George Street Edinburgh EH2 4HH

Once you send the appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), the EAT will decide what to do with the case. EAT may decide to let the case go or may decide to take the case further depending on the facts of the case.

If EAT decides the case may and can go on, you will be asked to attend a hearing where you will present your case and queries for the case. However, if EAT will decide that your case cannot go on anymore, you will receive a letter from EAT which will explain why your case cannot go any further and if there is a chance for you to make any further claims.

During the hearing, you will be asked to present your case. Your case may be presented by you or your lawyer or your friend. In the same hearing, your opponent will also present their case. Along with this, you may even be asked some questions about your case during the hearing.

Once both parties have presented their cases, the EAT will decide which party wins.

If EAT decides that your opponent's case is better and rules in their favour, you can appeal to a higher court for relief.

However, to make a further appeal, you will have to ask for the permission to appeal first. This may be asked from the EAT itself or directly from the higher court. The permission should be asked within 7 days from hearing of the decision or within 42 days if the decision was given in Scotland.

You must provide valid grounds for your problems with the decision of the EAT.

If you want to ask a higher court for permission, then you must do so within 21 days of the final decision provided by EAT. Such a request should be made to the Court of Appeal and to Court of Session in case the decision was given in Scotland.

Once you have been granted permission, you can appeal to the respective higher courts as per your jurisdiction.

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