After submitting a claim to the Employment Tribunal
Information about what happens after your claim is submitted can be found at https://www.gov.uk/employment-tribunals/after-you-make-a-claim.
More detailed information and advice can be found on the Citizens Advice website: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/problems-at-work/employment-tribunals/. These pages include guidance on preparing a schedule of loss, a list of documents and witness statements; they give information about orders a Tribunal can make and preliminary hearings, and provide useful flowcharts and a jargon buster.
In brief, the procedure after a claim is submitted is as follows:
- Once you have submitted a claim, it is sent to the Employment Tribunal for the area in which your employer is located. The Tribunal checks the claim, and if it is accepted they send a copy to your employer and anyone else you have named in the claim (the Respondent), and write to you, giving details of any further deadlines that you must meet, and sometimes giving you a date for the hearing of your case. If there are any problems with the claim or it is rejected, it will be returned to you. If you are within the deadline for submitting the claim, you will be able to amend it and resubmit. However, if the deadline has expired you will only be able to amend or resubmit the claim with the Tribunal’s permission.
- At the same time as sending a copy of your claim to your employer, the Tribunal will send a copy to ACAS. Conciliation will again be available to the parties, and you will usually be allocated the same conciliator who dealt with early conciliation in your case. As with early conciliation, if agreement is reached it will be recorded on a COT3 agreement which is legally binding and enforceable. If your employer does not pay, in the first instance you could speak to the ACAS conciliator, but if payment is still not forthcoming you may need to enforce the agreement. Information about enforcement, and the forms to complete, can be found on the gov.uk website.
- The Respondent usually has 28 days in which to send the Tribunal their response to the claim. Once the Tribunal has the Response and has accepted it, they will forward a copy to you. If they have not already done so, they will then issue orders giving a timetable for such things as the completion of a schedule of loss, disclosure of documents and exchange of witness statements.
- Sometimes, in more complex cases, a preliminary hearing will take place to decide what the timetable should be, or to decide other matters, such as whether an expert’s report is required. Very often such hearings are conducted by conference call to the Tribunal.
- If the Respondent does not submit a Response, the Tribunal can exclude them from taking a further part in the proceedings, and may decide to make a default judgment based on the information given in your claim form. They may ask you to attend a hearing, but it is unlikely the Respondent will attend, and if they do, it is unlikely they will be allowed to participate.