The Employment Tribunals are an independent judicial body established to resolve disputes between employers and employees over employment issues. The tribunal will hear claims about employment matters such as discrimination, wages, unfair dismissal and redundancy payments.
Employment Tribunals is less formal than a court. However, like a court, tribunals cannot give out legal advice, almost all hearings are open to the public, and evidence will be given under oath.
Before lodging an Employment Tribunal claim, Acas must be notified first and this can be done through early conciliation this is independent and impartial Conciliator they will then attempt to help both side to resolve their differences. Whilst these discussions are taking place the time limit for making a tribunal claim is extended. The Early Conciliation period can be up to a month initially, and can be shorter or up to 14 days longer according to need.
Resolving a dispute through conciliation is faster, cheaper and less stressful than going to the tribunal. However, in some cases Early Conciliation will not resolve the dispute. Evidence that Acas has been notified will be provided in the form of a unique Acas Early Conciliation Reference Number. Further conciliation help before a tribunal claim is presented if both sides want it, and you will be offered this service again.
Subject to Parliamentary approval all claims made to the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeals Tribunal since Monday 29 July 2013 are liable to a fee or an application for a fee remission. Fees are payable in advance and there are two levels of fees depending on the type of claim.
|Fee type||Type A claim||Type B claim|
This is generally a claim for sums of money due on termination of employment such as payment in lieu of notice, unpaid wages, redundancy payments etc, or for unpaid holiday pay or unlawful deductions of wages. Type B
This is a claims will relate to more complex claims such as unfair dismissal, discrimination and equal pay claims. For lodging an appeal the issue fee is £400 and the hearing fee of £1,200, and this is regardless of the type of claim.
Financial penalties on employers who lose at tribunal
The Employment Tribunal will be able to order losing employers to pay a penalty on top of any award made to the claimant. These penalties will be payable to the Secretary of State if the tribunal finds the employer has breached the employees’ employment rights and has “one or more aggravating feature”. The minimum amount will be £100 and no more than £5,000, the amount shall be 50% of the amount of compensation awarded with a 50% discount for employers who pay within 21 days of the tribunal’s decision. The tribunal will look at the employer’s ability to pay in deciding whether to order the employer to pay a penalty.