LRD guides and handbook October 2012

Employment tribunals - a practical guide for trade unionists


Introduction (785 words)

The coalition government is pursuing a programme of radical employment law reforms. The process began shortly after the 2010 election when the ...
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Chapter 1


The latest figures from the Ministry of Justice on employment tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) claims covering the period 1 April 2011 ...
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Chapter 2


Employment tribunals were set up under the Industrial Training Act 1964 and were intended to be an informal and accessible, as well as a relatively ...
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Proposed new rules (941 words)

At the request of the government, Lord Justice Underhill recently carried out a review of tribunal procedures and made a number of recommendations ...
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Parties to the proceedings (76 words)

Almost all tribunal claims are brought by an employee or worker against their employer. The individuals or organisations involved in the claim are ...
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Composition of tribunals (659 words)

A full tribunal panel is made up of a judge (previously referred to as a chairman) and two lay members. The judge is legally qualified and has at ...
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Chapter 3

3. JURISDICTION (534 words)

A tribunal only has power to hear certain types of claim from certain categories of worker and within a specified time limit. This is referred to as ...
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Legislation (110 words)

It is important to remember that legislation is often amended or refined after it is implemented. This is done through further Acts or regulations ...
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Chapter 4

4. TIME LIMITS (438 words)

Tribunal claims must be issued within a set time limit, which is specified in the relevant statute. A claim is “issued” once it has been ...
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Extension of time limit (724 words)

Tribunals can extend the time limit for admitting a claim where the legislation gives them the authority to do so. For most statutory claims, the ...
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Counting time (252 words)

If the legislation gives the time limit as “from” or “after” a particular date, that date is not included when calculating the time limit. ...
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Chapter 5

5. FEES (1,092 words)

In December 2011, the coalition government launched a consultation on charging fees in employment tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal, and ...
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Chapter 6

6. ISSUING THE CLAIM (573 words)

Under the Acas statutory Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures employees are encouraged to raise a grievance before issuing any ...
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Identifying the respondent (124 words)

In most cases, it is easy to establish the employer’s name and address. But in some circumstances this may be less clear — for example, if there ...
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Details of the claim (357 words)

It is important to ensure early on that each category of claim is pleaded. In other words, claimants should list each type of complaint (e.g. direct ...
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Presenting the claim in time (87 words)

The application must be submitted within the time limits laid down for each piece of employment legislation. Time generally runs from the date of ...
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Employer’s response (29 words)

When the tribunal receives your claim form, it will send a copy to your employer and invite the employer to respond by completing the response form ...
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Acas (88 words)

At the same time, it will normally send a copy to the Advisory and Conciliation Service (Acas) who will make contact with you (and with your ...
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Amending the claim form (94 words)

A tribunal has the power to amend a claim at any stage of the proceedings. However, there is no right to have a claim amended — the claimant must ...
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Funding a tribunal claim (461 words)

There is no state legal funding available for representation at employment tribunals in England and Wales; limited legal assistance was available ...
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Compensation (236 words)

In the period 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012 compensation, where it was awarded by the tribunal, remained generally low. ...
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Chapter 7


Some tribunals expect claimants to complete a Schedule of Loss early in the process (though it is expected that you will update this nearer to the ...
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Discovery application (621 words)

The resolution of cases generally requires a tribunal to favour one side’s word over the other’s. As the subject matter of a claim usually ...
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Written answers and further information (103 words)

Another way of extracting useful information from the employer can be via a request for written answers or further information, commonly known in ...
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Witness order (299 words)

The respondent can choose not to call a witness who could provide important evidence in support of its case. However, in some exceptional ...
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Witness statement (466 words)

Witnesses give evidence on matters within their own experience and about which they can reasonably comment. Witnesses can give hearsay evidence — ...
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Authorities — researching the law (413 words)

Authorities are important court cases which can be used to support a claimant’s case. It is important to research the law and in particular to ...
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Skeleton argument (103 words)

The purpose of a skeleton argument is to set out the legal tests in the context of the key facts. Highlighting favourable authorities (decisions of ...
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Chronology and relevant people (90 words)

Other documents that can be well worth producing, but are not essential, are a chronology and a list of the main “actors” (i.e. people relevant ...
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The bundle (251 words)

The bundle contains all the relevant documents needed to prove the issues in the case. Usually the employer will have been asked by the tribunal to ...
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Chapter 8


The government strongly supports the greater use of workplace mediation. Under draft rule 2 of the proposed new tribunal rules (see Chapter 2 — ...
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The Joint Acas and TUC Guidance on mediation (302 words)

The Guidance sets out that an impartial mediator “helps two or more people in dispute to attempt to reach an agreement. Any agreement comes from ...
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Binding arbitration (117 words)

Acas also operates a voluntary but binding individual arbitration scheme, available as an alternative to taking a tribunal claim in unfair dismissal ...
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Chapter 9

9. SETTLEMENT (206 words)

In its 2012 consultation, Ending the employment relationship, the government revealed plans to make it easier, cheaper and faster for employers to ...
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Settlement agreements (548 words)

Legally binding settlements, in which the parties refrain from issuing or continuing proceedings, can be agreed before a case reaches a tribunal. ...
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Personal injury claims (162 words)

Very significant changes have been made to the funding of personal injury claims (including workplace personal injury) by a new piece of ...
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Settlements through Acas (144 words)

Acas also offers a conciliation service in employment tribunal claims. When a claim is made to a tribunal, it is copied to Acas; a conciliator then ...
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Without prejudice and protected conversations (449 words)

“Without prejudice” is a legal term signifying that something is being done, proposed, or said without abandoning a claim, privilege, or right, ...
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Chapter 10

10. TRIBUNAL POWERS (1,049 words)

There are often issues that need to be dealt with before the full hearing of a claim. The procedures for hearing these issues are explained below. ...
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Chapter 11

11. THE HEARING (1,306 words)

Although the employer will normally be responsible for creating the bundle of relevant documents, you will still need to bring some documents to ...
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Costs orders (768 words)

As a rule, each party has to meet its own legal costs, but there are limited circumstances in which costs may be awarded. ...
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Chapter 12

12. REVIEWS AND APPEALS (538 words)

Where the tribunal has made a substantive decision (that is a decision which directly affected whether you won or lost the case) you can apply for a ...
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Time limit (52 words)

A notice of appeal must be lodged with the EAT within 42 days of the date that the judgment or the written reasons were sent to the claimant and the ...
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Costs orders (42 words)

As with tribunal claims, the EAT can order costs against a party if its appeal proceedings were unnecessary, improper, vexatious or misconceived, or ...
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Other courts (88 words)

Some cases go to the ordinary courts rather than to the tribunals. For example, police prosecutions for offences to do with picketing (see Chapter ...
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Enforcement (325 words)

There is a major problem with non-payment of awards by employers that have lost in the tribunal. ...
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Employment tribunal's areas of jurisdiction (1,601 words)

“s” relates to a section of the relevant legislation. ...
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Glossary of terms commonly used in employment tribunals (1,607 words)

Acas — the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. They work with employers and employees to try to resolve employment disputes. They can ...
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Further information

Further information (549 words)

HM Courts & Tribunals Service (Employment Tribunals — Head Office), 5th Floor, Victory House, 30-34 Kingsway, London WC2B 6EX. Tel: 0845 795 977 ...
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