1. Taking a case to an employment tribunal

You can take your employer to an employment tribunal if you think they’ve treated you unfairly, or broken the law.

The tribunal is independent, and could order the employer to pay you compensation if you win your case.

You usually have to apply to the tribunal within 3 months of your employment ending, or the problem happening at work.

What cases the tribunal can deal with

The tribunal can deal with a wide range of claims, eg:

  • unfair dismissal
  • discrimination
  • unfair deductions from your pay

Before you apply to the tribunal

See if 
there is another way to solve the problem before you apply to a tribunal - 
eg, using a grievance procedure.

You should contact Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) to use their free ‘Early Conciliation’ service before applying to the tribunal. From 6 May 2014 you’ll have to contact Acas before going to tribunal.

You’ll get a certificate from Acas that you’ll need for your employment tribunal claim if conciliation doesn’t work.

The deadline for applying to the tribunal is extended by the amount of time you spend in conciliation (eg, if you spend 2 weeks in conciliation, the deadline for applying to the tribunal is 2 weeks later.) You’ll always get at least 1 month to apply to the tribunal.

Acas
Telephone: 0300 123 1100
Textphone: 18001 030 0123 1100
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday, 9am to 1pm
Find out about call charges

Get help making a claim

You may want to get legal help or advice before you make your claim.

Your trade union may be able to pay for a solicitor.

The Equality Advisory and Support Service can help if your claim is about discrimination.

For general guidance on how the process works, call the employment tribunal enquiry line. They cannot give legal advice.

Employment Tribunal public enquiry line
Telephone: 0300 123 1024 (England and Wales)
Telephone: 0141 354 8574 (Scotland)
Minicom: 01509 221564
Find out about call charges

If you’re in Northern Ireland

You need to appeal to the Office of Industrial Tribunals and the Fair Employment Tribunal if you live in Northern Ireland.

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