Pump Court Chambers

How to submit an employment tribunal claim

If you have a case already in the Employment Tribunal you may need help with preparing for the hearing or representation at the hearing.

Speak to a member of our employment team:

Call 07880 840164

Contact our Employment Law Team

For further information about our employment barristers, please contact Dean Cunniff on +44(0)7880 840164, email, or use the contact form below.

  • Drop files here or
    In order for us to assist you with your claim we ask if you could attach a copy of your contract of employment and any correspondence relating to your dispute.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We have extensive experience in public and private-sector casework at all levels. One of our Employment barristers sit as part-time Employment Judges and we also have a number of qualified mediators within our team.

1. Contact ACAS to receive Early Conciliation Number

A potential claimant must inform ACAS first, before making a claim to an employment tribunal about a workplace dispute. Early conciliation between an employee and the employer may help resolve the dispute informally so you no longer need to make a claim, it could also affect how much compensation you’re awarded if you do make an employment tribunal claim.

2. The Claimant submits the ET1 form to the employment tribunal due 3 months -1 day (subject to ACAS intervention)

It’s important to draft the claim correctly in the first instance, ensuring your best foot forward but also to protect against any potential long terms costs consequences. Our experienced employment law experts can help set out the facts in a manner to help bolster your claim.

3. ET3 form due 28 days from Tribunal’s letter notifying of the ET1

It’s then the respondent’s turn to draft a response (Grounds of Resistance) on an ET3 form. We can draft the ET3 and grounds of resistance and provide advice as to the strength of your company’s defence and a strategy to the best possible result.

4. Preliminary Hearing/Case Management date

After this stage, the tribunal will decide on how the claim shall proceed, usually listing it for a case management hearing to give directions and a timetable to the Final Hearing. We match the right barrister to the client depending on your needs and budget; allowing your case to be represented in the best possible light and giving you the best chance of success.

Support, advice and representation

Our barristers represent both employees and employers at the Employment Tribunal, the Employment Appeal Tribunal and the higher Courts. Our barristers can advise and act for both employees and employers on all areas of employment law, including:

  • unfair/wrongful dismissal
  • discrimination
  • equal pay
  • whistleblowing
  • redundancy
  • TUPE transfers
  • holiday and sick pay
  • non-contentious matters such as drafting contracts, drafting employee handbooks and dealing with internal disciplinary and grievance matters as well as carrying out workplace mediations.

Our barristers can advise and act for both employees and employers on the enforceability of restrictive covenants, the protection of trade secrets and databases as well as all contractual matters relating to employment.

Our clients range from Airlines to Gyms and from Local Authorities to pub landlords and all things in between. We have the expertise and experience to support you in successfully defending employment tribunal litigation and instructing us directly will lead to cost savings. We can also help you or your HR personnel navigate all types of workplace issues including disciplinary and grievance proceedings, capability and ill-health matters and redundancy/ business reorganisation processes.

This includes discrimination within the context of transport, education and housing, where we have been involved in some of the leading cases that have helped to shape this area of law. Our Employment barristers are regularly instructed to act on behalf of employees and employers in a wide range of cases.

Employment Tribunal FAQs


Employment law governs the relationship between employers and employees. It regulates what employers should expect from employees, what employers expect from employees at work, and what employees’ rights at work are.

Employment Tribunals and their role within employment law:

Employment tribunals make decisions about employment disputes. Specifically, they deal with legal hearings between employees and their employers to resolve disputes about their employment rights. Cases such as cases concerning unfair dismissal, redundancy, notice pay, whistleblowing and discrimination are heard within the employment tribunals.

Work is either carried out on a fixed fee (which means that we will charge you a set amount of money for each piece of work we undertake) or on an hourly rate basis. All fees exclude VAT (where applicable).

Please find pricing and fee information here.

The time limit to bring a claim in the employment tribunal is short and generally speaking, you have to approach ACAS for Early Conciliation (a type of negotiation with your employer) within 3 months of dismissal or an act of discrimination and then submit a claim form called an ET1 to the tribunal.

In order for us to assist you with your claim we ask if you could attach a copy of your contract of employment and any correspondence relating to your dispute.

Please note: Whilst most claims have to be brought to an employment tribunal within 3 months, that timescale is extended by any time spent in Early Conciliation with ACAS

Get in touch with us to ensure that you bring your claim within time.

Timescales for your case may vary depending on factors such as barristers’ availability, the complexity of your case, the need for additional documents and the other side’s approach. However, as a guide more straightforward cases tend to have a hearing date within four to six months of a claim being made. More complex cases may take a year or more to resolve. We are used to dealing with instructions quickly and adhering to Tribunal timetables.


Unlike the courts, employment tribunals deal with claims arising out of employment law. Some examples of the types of claims that can be heard by employment tribunals include:

  • Unfair dismissal
  • Constructive unfair dismissal
  • Discrimination based on sex, race, disability, age, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership, religion or belief, and sexual orientation
  • Harassment
  • Victimisation
  • Whistleblowing
  • Health and Safety detriment / dismissals
  • Breach of contract
  • Redundancy pay claims and issues about furlough

Firstly, before a claim is brought to the employment tribunal, the employee must apply for early conciliation within three months of the cause of the complaint. This involves an ACAS conciliator who will speak to both parties about the issue and seek to find a resolution. Where this is not possible, the employee must then submit an ET1 form to the employment tribunals within the time limit. Time limits are very short in Employment Tribunals and it is important to observe them as you claim may not be allowed to proceed if it is submitted late. The employer then has to respond to this ET1 form within 28 days. The tribunal will then give directions for the case and for a hearing, sometimes a Preliminary Hearing may be required before the final hearing.

The employment tribunal will order the employee to set out the remedies which he or she is seeking from the employer. Tribunals also ask the parties to clarify the “issues” in the case and to provide a List of Issues. We strongly recommend that you seek legal advice about the Schedule of Loss and the List of Issues if you can as they are important documents in the case. Parties also have to disclose all the documents relevant to the case to each other and usually, the Respondent prepares a bundle of all the documents which the parties want the tribunal to consider. Only documents relevant to the case and the issues should be put into the Tribunal Bundle. Parties then have to exchange witness statements for any witnesses who will attend the hearing.

Once all of these necessary steps have been complied with, then the parties will attend the hearing and the tribunal will set a timetable to hear the evidence. The first morning is usually spent by the Tribunal reading the witness statements and any key documents, then the parties give their evidence. In discrimination claims, the Claimant gives their evidence first followed by the Respondent. In unfair dismissal cases where the parties agree that there was a dismissal, the Respondent gives its evidence first. Sometimes the tribunal will deal with liability and remedy together or if the case is more complex the tribunal will indicate that it will only consider liability and then if necessary, a remedy hearing will take place later. A remedy hearing enables the employment tribunal to determine the appropriate award payable to the employee if they win any part of their case. The employment tribunal issues its decision in the form of a judgment, sometimes given orally at the end of the hearing, sometimes provided in writing later (“reserved judgment”). The parties should ask for “written reasons” if they want a written judgment. This document will provide information for the parties on how the decision was reached following employment law.

Either party may ask for the judgment to be reconsidered (within 14 days of the date of the judgment / the date the judgment is sent to the parties) or to appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal within 42 days of the date of the judgment / the date the judgment is sent to the parties.


The first step is that all tribunal claims must be submitted to ACAS for an early conciliation notification form to assist in resolving the issue without having to go to the employment tribunals. This claim must be brought within three months from the date of effective termination or from when the date of the act complained of respectively, as set out in Section 111(2)(a) of the Employment Rights Act 1996.

Most cases don’t reach employment tribunals and can be settled. We are expert negotiators and can help with a strategy for reaching a settlement.

If you have been employed for over two years at the time of your dismissal, you may be able to bring a claim for unfair dismissal compensation. However, if you were dismissed because you raised concerns that amount to whistleblowing or for health and safety reasons to protect yourself, for example, a lack of PPE during the COVID-19 outbreak, or if your dismissal was discriminatory because of your sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, age or pregnancy/maternity you don’t need the minimum qualifying period of two years’ service.


Our Employment barristers are recognised by the leading independent legal directories as a dedicated group of specialists covering all areas of employment and discrimination law.

We have extensive experience in public and private-sector case work at all levels. Several of our Employment barristers sit as part-time Employment Judges and we also have a number of qualified mediators within our team.

In addition to providing compelling advocacy, we also have a strong tradition of conducting bespoke training with our clients. Heather Platt lectures final year law students at City University in London and several members of the Practice Group have provided employment law training for the leading industry providers.

We accept Direct Access instructions from in house counsel, other professionals and members of public.

Contact our Employment Law Team

For further information about our employment barristers, please contact Dean Cunniff on +44(0)7880 840164, email, or use the contact form below.

  • Drop files here or
    In order for us to assist you with your claim we ask if you could attach a copy of your contract of employment and any correspondence relating to your dispute.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
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