Making a claim to an Employment Tribunal
In order to make a claim to an Employment Tribunal you must be aware of certain time limits.
Ordinarily a claim must be made within three months of the day which the act you are claiming about took place. This means as an example if you are dismissed on the First of February you must lodge the claim and obtain confirmation from the Employment Tribunal by the 30th of April. There are certain claims which have no time limit or a longer limit but you should be aware of this rule. Employment Tribunals are reluctant to allow claims out of time. These can mean you lose your right to claim at all.
The ET 1 Form
All claims begin by completing a claim form. This is a very important document as if it is not correctly completed the Tribunal can ( and do) refuse to register the claim which can mean you lose the right to claim. You are best advised to seek our guidance on completing this form.
Acknowledgement of the claim and further procedure
If your claim is in time and in the correct format you will receive an acknowledgement that it has been registered. The claim papers will then be served upon your former employers who have 28 days after receiving your claim to respond.
If there is no response you will be issued with a default judgement. However, very often your former employer will have reasons for not responding to the claim within the correct timescale. If this happens a review of the default judgement will be applied for and if successful the judgment will be recalled and the case will proceed as though the judgement had not been issued.
In all most all cases there is a requirement for some type of hearing where you and other witnesses will give evidence. That evidence will address both the facts of your case and the monetary aspect of how much you are seeking to claim. You can also in Unfair dismissal claims ask either for your job back or a different job with the same employer. Both of these all though possible are rarely ordered.
Currently an Employment Tribunal consists of three people. A legally qualified judge and two lay members representing experience in the Employer and Employee fields.
All of the Tribunal are entitled and do ask questions of you about your case. In addition you will be asked questions by us if we represent you and by your former employer or their representative.
We find that most people we act for find the experience a very formal and daunting process even all though the process is designed to be a less formal and more inquisitive way of resolving your dispute than a court.
Costs can be awarded in the Employment tribunal all though not ordinarily. The costs regime is likely to change within the next year or so. Currently each party bears its own costs in the ordinary case.