Tag Archive: tribunal

Guide to What to Expect at an Employment Tribunal

The Tribunal System and its objectivesMost cases are heard at permanent Tribunal offices in the major cities and large towns although additional Hearing Centres are sometimes used, particularly in more remote areas of the country. Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own Tribunal Centres.

An Employment Tribunal operates like a court although it is not as formal. However, like a court it must act independently and cannot give legal advice. Witnesses give evidence, usually on oath, from a separate witness table and normally read their statements out loud. They are then questioned about their evidence or other issues in the case by the other party, the Employment Judge and members of the Tribunal Panel.

The Tribunal’s overriding objective is to deal with the case equitably and justly (from the point of view of both Claimant and Respondent). This includes doing what it can to ensure that all parties are placed on as equal a footing as possible, and dealing with your case as quickly as possible in a way which is proportionate to the complexity of the issues. This may, at times, cause it to appear to favour an un-represented Claimant (or Respondent), for example by asking more probing questions of the other side’s witnesses. Both parties are required to assist the Tribunal in achieving this overriding objective.

The Tribunal generally has three members although some simpler cases are sometimes heard by an Employment Judge sitting alone.

The Employment Judge is legally qualified and is appointed by the Lord Chancellor. The other two members of the panel are lay members and are appointed by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry from persons with experience in dealing with work related problems.

Employment Tribunal Claims

With the number of Tribunal claims rising, the chances that you as an employer will need to defend a claim at some time increase each will I know a claim has been made against me? The person bringing the claim against you will complete a form ET1. They will send this to the Employment Tribunal who will then send a copy to you.

What should I do then?

There is a strict time limit in which you need to reply to a claim. Do not ignore the claim because you think that it is ridiculous or that the employee will lose interest and go away. A decision may be made against you without a hearing if you do not respond on time. In some cases, you may be prevented from taking part in the proceedings any further.

What is an ET3?

The ET3 is the form that must be completed and sent back to the Tribunal Office as your defence. It is essential that the proper and most up to date ET3 form is used. Keep your response short but it is important that the relevant facts are included. You might want to make a request for further information at this stage.

Be wary of hidden claims such as discrimination or equal pay issues that are not clear from the next? Keep a track of important dates. Documents will have to be disclosed before a certain date, witness statements will have to be exchanged and case management discussions will need to take place. Tribunals take a dim view of anyone who misses a can I do to prepare before a Tribunal? Start pulling together documents that prove your cases as soon as possible (If your evidence is not in the ‘Tribunal Bundle’ you will struggle to include in at the hearing).

If you are defending a Employment Tribunal Claim, you will be faced with many procedures and rules that can confuse and mystify � professional legal support from Bibby Consulting & Support will make the process much easier for above is intended to provide information of general interest about employment law but does not give legal advice.

When an Et1 Arrives Preparing to Defend an Employment Tribunal Claim

Unless you’re a solicitor, the arrival of an ET1 (tribunal claim) does tend to cast a gloom over the morning …

Employment tribunal claims have risen considerably in recent years. In the current climate contractual variations and redundancy dismissals are commonplace; as I write this another high profile example has emerged. I have just read on the BBC website that Hewlett-Packard have decided to replace Leo Apotheker with Meg Whitman. There probably won’t be an employment tribunal claim in this case – but you never know!

While much of the work of my team is to ensure that employers manage properly, so as to optimise employee output and reduce risk, you can never say never. Tribunal claims can arise at any time and it pays to be prepared. These are some of the tips that we cover in our ET1-Tribunal workshop.

Only about 20% of cases go to trial. The great majority are settled or withdrawn. In the 14 years we have been operating we have only had three cases where clients have taken our advice and still gone to tribunal. We have won each case. However, it costs around 8,000 to win … we have had far more cases where employers have not taken our advice or where people have come to us so late in the day that we’re into damage limitation and we have managed those. Most we have settled. The more knowledgeable and aware of tactics you are in the time period after the ET1 arrives the more likely you are to fight your corner well. From ET1-Tribunal gives you practical, tactical tips. The next workshop is 13th October.

You are free to copy and distribute this Article provided you agree with the terms and conditions of specific web site and/or Article-website-Publisher Guidelines whereby the original author’s information and copyright must be included. The author is Kate Russell of Russell HR Consulting Ltd.

Russell HR Consulting provides expert knowledge in the practical application of employment law as well as providing employment law training and HR support services. For more information, visit our website at or call a member of the team on 0845 644 8955.

Russell HR Consulting offers HR services to businesses nationwide, including Buckinghamshire (covering Aylesbury, High Wycombe, Milton Keynes, Bedford, Banbury, Northampton, Towcester and surrounding areas), Nottinghamshire (covering Chesterfield, Mansfield, Nottingham, Sheffield, Worksop and surrounding areas) and Hampshire (covering Aldershot, Basingstoke, Reading, Farnborough, Fareham, Portsmouth, Southampton and surrounding areas).

Using an Employment Tribunal

An employment tribunal is a term used in Britain and Wales which consists of three members who sit in judgment in the tribunal when there is a dispute between employers and employees of companies based in Britain and Wales. There is also an Employment Tribunal in Scotland but it adheres to much different rules then the one that operates in Britain and Wales and the two different entities don’t cross over. The initial employment tribunal in Britain and Wales was established with the creation of the Industrial Training Act 1964. Then in 1998 the name was changed by the Employment Rights Act 1998. The new name is Employment Tribunals which is in existence today.

The tribunal is intended to be a forum that allows the fair hearing of disputes between employers and employees. The complaints may be brought to the tribunal by either the employer or by employees. The tribunals are held in offices in permanent locations throughout the country. These tribunals are statutory jurisdictions which operate by specific dictates and rules and laws. In England and Wales these disputes are often related to unfair dismissal, redundancy pay or employee discrimination which can cover a vast area of discriminatory practices.

In the US this would generally be heard by a state employment dispute board such as the California State Employment Board which is based within the state government. There are also Federal boards where employees can bring their disputes. Of course if the company is a union shop any disputes would flow through that specific trade union. In the US this is often about pay issues. If the complaint is about unsafe work areas the complainant would address one of the OSHA offices which concerns itself with work place safety. In the State of California or the Federal agency the complainant would send a letter addressing their complaint. The employer may not even be informed of the letter and the letter doesn’t have to be on an official form and certainly doesn’t have to comply with specific time frames initially. The respective agency will perform an initial investigation then may appear in person at the company offices or send a letter directing the employer to send in documentation and so forth and then they get notice of a hearing which in the case of California would be heard by an administrative judge.

In Britain and Wales the initial complaint must be on a Valid Claim Form and must comply with very rigid and specific time frames as does the entire documentation process. This can be delivered in person or by email. If the Valid Claim Form is not received in a timely manner the entire case may be dismissed without any sort of prehearing so timeliness is essential to the process. After a review the defendant such as the employer, will receive a Response Form which must be returned within 28 days of being sent the form. The entire process is regulated by the Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council and administered by Tribunals Service.