Fired? - Making A Claim

Employment claims can be made in an Employment Tribunal or the civil courts. There are different time periods for making a claim in each of these different forums, and there may be differences in the amount of compensation you can receive if successful.

The best way to determine which forum is the most suitable for your claim is to discuss your issue with an employment solicitor.

Employment Tribunals

Employment Tribunals are independent judicial bodies who have the authority to settle employment rights disputes between employers and employees. They can hear disputes on a whole range of employment law issues including:

  • Unfair dismissal
  • Redundancy payments
  • Discrimination claims
  • Breach of contract
  • Failure by employers to allow accompaniment by a colleague or trade union representative in grievance or disciplinary meetings
  • Failure by employers to allow time off work to look for a new job if facing redundancy
  • Failure by employers to provide equal pay for equal work
  • Employee has suffered a detriment because of their pregnancy or maternity leave
  • Failure to allow rest breaks
  • Employee has suffered a detriment, redundancy or dismissal on health and safety grounds

The rest of the disputes that can be heard by an Employment Tribunal can be found on their Jurisdiction List. In addition, an employment solicitor would be able to tell you if you have an Employment Tribunal claim.

If you have a claim, you will need to send a completed claim form to your local Employment Tribunal. You must complete the form accurately and ensure you include all the information that is required, including the details of you complaint.

The Employment Tribunal will either accept or reject your claim. If they accept it, they will send you a confirmation letter and a case number. They also will alert the defendant of your claim and put you in touch with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) in a bid to settle the matter.

If they reject it, they will send you a letter outlining their reasons behind the rejection. It may just be that you have not completed the form correctly or you have missed out some vital information.

An Employment Tribunal hearing will be heard by an Employment Judge and they will sometimes be joined by two non-legal members. The hearing will be more informal than proceedings in court; you will not see anyone is a robe or wig; however, it will still be impartial. The Employment Tribunal judges will not be able to offer you any legal advice. However, you are allowed to be represented by an employment solicitor who will advise you.

Is there a deadline to make a claim in an Employment Tribunal?

The answer to this is yes. There is a strict deadline of three months for most Employment Tribunal claims. For example, if the incident you are claiming for happened on the 1st March, the Employment Tribunal must receive your claim on or before the 31st May.

If your claim is regarding your dismissal, the three month period will start from the date your employment ended.

If your claim is regarding discrimination or non-payment of wages or holiday pay, your three month period will start from the date that the incident occurred.

There are special rules in place for redundancy payment and equal pay claims.

Civil Courts

The civil courts are able to hear some employment law claims. They will be able to hear a breach of contract claim, for example wrongful dismissal, where your employer has breached your contract of employment and you have suffered a loss as a result.

You usually have six years from the date of the breach of contract to file your claim with the civil courts. This is a longer amount of time than is allowed for Employment Tribunal claims.

Job Justice can help

If you would like to receive legal advice on your employment claim from a local recommended employment solicitor, call us today and we can put you in touch with one of our specialist solicitors.

Our solicitors can discuss your situation with you and advise you on making a claim. They also can provide you with legal representation if necessary.

Simply call us for free on 0800 533 5799 or fill in our online contact form and we’ll be in touch to discuss your situation.


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