Do I have a claim? 

It depends on what your situation is. We usually think of claims as fitting into one of three categories: 

  1. If you believe you are owed wages, notice pay, holiday pay or some other contractual entitlement, then you potentially have a claim. 
  2. If you have been discriminated against on the grounds of your religion, race, gender, age, sexuality or because you raised a whistle-blowing concern, then you potentially have a claim. 
  3. If you have been dismissed and you consider that the dismissal was unfair or that you are unhappy with the way your employer has treated you (but such treatment is not discriminatory or because you blew the whistle), then whether you have a claim will depend on whether you have been employed for 2 years or more.

This is a basic summary - if you believe you do have a potential claim, get in touch with us through the links above. We would also recommend the Citizens Advice Page on Problems at Work for more information on your situation.

How do I bring a tribunal claim?

The first step is to begin a process called Early Conciliation with ACAS. You must go through this process because you issue a claim in the Employment Tribunal. Early Conciliation provides the opportunity for both parties to settle the dispute before the commencing of formal legal proceedings. The service is free and simply requires you to fill out the Early Conciliation online form. 

If you have not reached a settlement with your employer during Early Conciliation, ACAS will provide you with a Early Conciliation certificate which you will need when submitting a tribunal claim.

Before you issue a claim in the employment tribunal, you should be certain that you have exhausted all other options - commencing legal proceedings is highly stressful and can take a long time. Before you make your claim, make sure that you have read the guidance on the government website

You can issue your claim online using the government online form. This form is similar to the form for Early Conciliation, with the exception that you will be asked to identify the legal claims you are bringing and to provide a claim statement. We recommend that you type up this statement in a separate document and upload using the upload button on the government online form. The online form has a word-limit that is easy to go over. We highly recommend that you seek assistance with preparing your claim statement - it should comprise the entire factual background of your claim, followed by setting out the legal claims that arise from that background. It is very important that you include everything you want to claim in this statement as it can be very difficult to change this at a later stage. This document will be the first document that the Tribunal will read when dealing with your case.

How long do I have to bring my tribunal claim?

The time-limits for bringing a claim in the tribunal can be very complex. The starting position is that you have 3 months less 1 day from the date of dismissal (or from the date of the act complained of). Any time spent within ACAS is not included. For example, if you have been dismissed on 2 January, your basic deadline to bring a tribunal claim is 1 April. However if you were involved in Early Conciliation discussions from 1 February to 1 March, then this month does not count towards your deadline, which means your deadline for bringing a claim will change to 1 May. Working out time limits can be confusing so its best to  take advice. 


Term - Meaning
Claimant - You
Respondent - Your employer and/or any other parties you've brought a claim against
ET1 - The Claim form you submitted to the Tribunal
ET3 - Your employer's response to your claim
EC - Early Conciliation (a service offered through ACAS that Claimants must initiate before bringing a tribunal claim)