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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

Enforcement & Proceedings: Appealing a tribunal decision


Following the judgment of an employment tribunal (NMWM02100) (industrial tribunal in Northern Ireland (NMWM02110)) either party can submit an appeal of the judgment. Such appeals must be made within 42 days of getting the tribunal decision.

Employment Appeal Tribunal

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (NMWM02120) considers appeals against employment tribunal decisions in England, Wales and Scotland. The Employment Appeal Tribunal has to give permission (leave) for a party to appeal to them from an employment tribunal. It only grants leave where a party can establish that the tribunal has made an error of law i.e. it must identify flaws in the legal reasoning of the original decision. The Employment Appeal Tribunal will not normally re-examine issues of fact.

In Northern Ireland, an appeal of an industrial tribunal decision must be submitted to the Court of Appeal (NMWM02140) in Northern Ireland. This is the highest court specifically of Northern Ireland, appeals from the Court of Appeal lies to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (NMWM02150).

Court of Appeal

An appeal from a judgment of the Employment Appeal Tribunal is to the Court of Appeal, Civil Division (England and Wales) or the Court of Session (Scotland) (NMWM02130). Like the Employment Appeal Tribunal and Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland, the Court of Appeal must give leave to appeal to them and will only grant leave if there is an error of law of particular importance.

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court (NMWM02150) is the final court of appeal in the UK for civil cases. It is the court of last resort and the highest civil court in the United Kingdom. As an appeal court, the Supreme Court cannot consider a case unless leave to appeal is granted by them or the Court whose decision is being appealed. Only errors of law of real public interest are heard by the Supreme Court. No NMW cases have reached the Supreme Court. Its judgments bind all the lower courts.

Consideration of appeal

The solicitors acting for the Department will consider whether it is appropriate to submit an appeal to a higher court. As judgments from the Employment Appeal Tribunal and above set a legal precedent, HM Revenue & Customs will consult with the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (NMWM02020) to consider any policy issues before proceeding with an appeal.