To bring a claim, a Claimant must submit their claim form (ET1) to the Employment Tribunal within the time limit.

The Respondent must present its response (ET3) within the 28-day time limit. The case will then be passed to an employment judge who will consider the papers.

The judge will make a decision as to whether all or part of the case should be struck out (because it has no reasonable prospects of success) or whether the case should proceed. An employment judge has the power to issue case management orders setting out the steps the parties are required to take and the timetable for doing so.

A preliminary hearing may be called to discuss further directions needed to prepare the case for the final hearing and the issues in dispute that the employment judge will need to determine at the final hearing. An employment judge may also make a deposit order requiring the claimant to pay a deposit of up to £1,000 as a condition of being able to proceed if they consider that all or part of the claim has little reasonable prospects of success.

Tribunals are less formal than other courts. They can consist of an employment judge and 2 lay members. At the end of the formal hearing, the tribunal will give its decision in the form of a judgment.

A party can only appeal a decision on a point of law. The EAT will not interfere with the tribunal’s findings of fact unless the tribunal reached a conclusion no other tribunal could have properly reached on the facts before it.

It is our usual practice to instruct Counsel (a barrister) to represent at a hearing.

Further advice

For further information, please see our pricing guide for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal.

Our specialist employment lawyers can advise on employment tribunal representation. For a free, no obligation fact finding meeting, complete our online enquiry form or call 0800 915 6037.


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