What happens at an Employment Tribunal (ET)? | Consensus HR in Herts & Beds

Latest blog: What actually happens when you have to go to an Employment Tribunal (ET)?

One of the many things we get asked at Consensus HR, is what happens at an Employment Tribunal (ET), should it unfortunately lead to this?

An Employment Tribunal (ET) in the UK is a legal forum where disputes between employers and employees are resolved. These disputes often involve issues such as unfair dismissal, discrimination, wage disputes, breach of contract, and other employment-related matters.

Here’s a detailed overview of what happens at an Employment Tribunal in the UK:

1. Filing a Claim

  • Claimant: The process begins when the employee (claimant) files a claim with the Employment Tribunal. This must usually be done within three months of the incident or employment termination.
  • ACAS Early Conciliation: Before filing a claim, the claimant must notify ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) and attempt Early Conciliation to resolve the dispute.

2. Response from Employer

  • Respondent: The employer (respondent) is notified of the claim and must respond, typically within 28 days. This response will outline their defense against the claim.

3. Pre-Hearing Procedures

  • Case Management: A preliminary hearing may be held to manage the case, clarify the issues, and set deadlines. This could be conducted via phone or in person.
  • Disclosure of Evidence: Both parties exchange relevant documents and witness statements.
  • Settlement Discussions: There may be opportunities for settlement discussions or further conciliation to avoid a full hearing.

4. The Tribunal Hearing

  • Panel Composition: A typical tribunal panel consists of an Employment Judge and, in some cases, two lay members with experience in employment matters.
  • Presentation of Cases: Both parties present their cases, starting with the claimant. This includes presenting evidence, calling witnesses, and cross-examining the other party’s witnesses.
  • Legal Representation: Parties may represent themselves or have legal representation.

5 . Tribunal Decision

  • Deliberation: After hearing the evidence, the tribunal deliberates and makes a decision.
  • Judgment: The tribunal issues a judgment, which may be delivered immediately after the hearing or at a later date in writing.
  • Remedies: If the claimant wins, the tribunal may award remedies such as compensation, reinstatement, or re-engagement.

6. Post-Hearing

  • Appeals: Either party can appeal the tribunal’s decision to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) on points of law.
  • Enforcement: If the employer does not comply with the tribunal’s judgment, the claimant may need to take further legal steps to enforce it.
What happens at an Employment Tribunal (ET)? | Consensus HR in Herts & Beds
What happens at an Employment Tribunal (ET)? | Consensus HR in Herts & Beds

Our HR comment:

Matthew Chilcott, Owner of Consensus HR comments: “Going to an Employment Tribunal (ET) is never overall an enjoyable experience and especially when you have to be questioned by the legal representation and is key that you are prepared and know your facts about the case.  If you are to be present and be questioned, you would have already completed a Statement which sometimes you may be asked to read to the ET, or they will go direct to questioning you based on your statement.  You will firstly be asked to tell the truth, the whole truth with a bible or other religious material based on your religion / belief.

The main thing to remember is that we are dealing with Civil Law and the balance of probabilities and reasonableness, and you need to demonstrate that all the action taken was reasonable and what a reasonable employer would do and that you followed the ACAS code of Practice and relevant law.

This said though and as with any area when it comes to law and giving evidence, it can be stressful but remember to prepare, prepare and prepare and you know your facts and what is within your Statement and the action you took and your legal team/ HR are there to support you.”


Do you need help with your HR and Employment Law?

If you find it hard to keep on top of HR and Employment Law changes and manage a team, give us a call / email now to talk about how we can help you Prevent People Problems. Consensus HR | Your Outsourced Human Resources & Employment Law Department. | “Helping companies take the pain out of managing people whilst Preventing People Problems.” – 01438 576750.

Are you concerned about keeping your business up to date with Employment Law changes?

At Consensus HR, we ensure that our clients do not make assumptions when it comes to the performance / abilities of team members and that if identified, we seek the member of teams consent to write to a relevant medical professional to obtain support and advice and any reasonable adjustments needed to ensure what is possible is provided. If you manage a team / business and find it hard to keep on top of changing Employment Law and best practice and wish you could outsource it to a HR Charity for a small monthly investment, give us a call now for a non-obligatory conversation. Consensus HR | Your Outsourced Human Resources and Employment Law Department. | “Helping companies take the pain out of managing people whilst Preventing People Problems – 01438 576750.

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