An employer's guide to the Employment Tribunal

Date last reviewed

Tuesday, July 11, 2017
This video explains what an employer should expect when going through an Employment Tribunal claim and gives some practical advice to help demystify the process.

Who should watch this?

Watch this if you have received, or are expecting to receive, an Employment Tribunal claim from an employee.

The content of this video is accurate as at July 2017 (but see 'Update' section below).

What does the video cover?

The video will cover questions such as:

  • How can I avoid going to the Employment Tribunal?
  • What kinds of claim will the Employment Tribunal deal with?
  • What documents will an employer receive when a claim has been brought by an employee?
  • How should an employer respond to a claim?
  • What is a Notice of Hearing, a Case Management Discussion, and a Schedule of Loss?
  • Will I need to tell the employee about documents that are damaging to my case?
  • Who needs to be a witness in the claim?
  • Will I need to be in contact with the employee during the Employment Tribunal process?
  • What do I take along to the hearing and what should I expect when I get there?
  • How long will the Judge take to make their decision?
  • Will I need to pay for the employee’s costs during the process?
  • What can I do if I disagree with the Employment Tribunal’s decision?  How can I appeal?

Running time: 28 mins

  • Title page (0.23)

  • Introduction (2.55)

  • The process for when a claim is brought by a claimant (2.32)

  • An employer's response to a claim using the 'ET3' (2.09)

  • Notice of Hearing and the Case Management Discussion (5.04)

  • The importance of co-operating with claimants (1.00)

  • What to expect at the Tribunal and hearing (6.37)

  • The closing submissions, end of the hearing and remedies (4.06)

  • Key things to remember (3.14)


Since this video was filmed a number of changes have been made to the way that Employment Tribunals work.

The most important are:

  • the introduction of a system of compulsory contact with ACAS before a claim can be brought in an Employment Tribunal at all; and
  • the introduction of a fee to be paid by the employee before starting a claim (with a second fee to be paid before the final hearing).

As an employer you may therefore be contacted by ACAS about an employee who has a complaint or grievance or who has left your organisation.  You are not compelled to discuss the matter with ACAS, but it might prove a good opportunity to resolve the issue before a claim is brought.  

The need to pay a fee is understandably putting off many potential claimants and the number of Employment Tribunal claims has dropped significantly as a result.

Other changes include:

  • the fact that unfair dismissal claims are now more frequently heard by a judge sitting alone without lay member;
  • statements are not usually read out in the hearing, but are read in advance of the hearing by the Employment Tribunal; and
  • short hearings used for managing the case may be called 'preliminary hearings'.

Special thanks to:

LawWorks, the presenters, and the organisations involved in producing these resources cannot accept any responsibility or liability for the use of the materials and they are not a substitute for taking appropriate legal advice.

Date last reviewed

July 2017

Date of publication

Monday, July 1, 2013

Area of law

Type of Resource

Year of Publication