Employment Tribunals are in effect employment courts.
Don’t be misled by the term tribunal. They are courts.
Most of the claims that employees can bring against employers can only be lodged at an Employment Tribunal and in no other court.
Employment Tribunals have their own rules, currently the Employment Tribunal Rules of Procedure.
It is very important to note that claims have to be lodged at the Employment Tribunal, within three months of the wrong doing that the employee complains of. Most claims have to be submitted to ACAS for early conciliation first, before lodging at an Employment Tribunal.
The deadline for lodging the claim at the Employment Tribunal is extended by the amount of time ACAS take to deal with claim. However, the deadline is strictly enforced and in one case the claim was thrown out for being a mere eight seconds late – Miller v Community Links Trust Ltd 2007.
The same applies to employers lodging their defense to a claim by an employee. The defense, called the response, must be lodged within 28 days of the claim being sent
to the employer. Otherwise, the employer loses by default.
Whether you are claiming or defending, it’s vital you act early.