In order to commence Employment Tribunal proceedings, unless you are exempt, you need a Unique Reference number that is found on the Early Conciliation Certificate. There are very few exemptions when a Unique Reference Number is not required.
In July 2013 the Government introduced fees for Employment Tribunals, however in July 2017 the Supreme Court ruled these fees as unlawful and discriminatory. Fees will be stopped immediately and the Government will reimburse those who have paid fees since their introduction. Read more here.
There are also very strict time limits to commence Employment Tribunal proceedings.
Employment Tribunal claims are heard in public, usually by an Employment Judge. If your case is more complex, then the Employment Judge may be accompanied by 2 lay members. One lay member will be from an employee background (such as a trade union representative). The other will be from an employer background (such as a human resource specialist).
Overriding Objective: Employment Tribunals have an overriding objective to deal with cases justly and fairly. This includes:
- Ensuring parties are on an equal footing
- Dealing with cases in ways which are proportionate to the complexity and importance of the issues
- Avoiding unnecessary formality and seeking flexibility in proceedings
- Saving expense