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If you are an employee looking to make a claim against your employer for unfair dismissal or redundancy, you would take your action to the Employment Tribunal. This is a specialist Court that deals with all employment matters (excluding wrongful dismissal claims). This article explores the roll and powers of the Employment Tribunal.

What is an Employment Tribunal?

An Employment Tribunal is similar to a County Court but it deals exclusively with employment related matters. It will receive evidence from each of the parties and make its decision and can deal with the following types of cases:-

1. Unfair dismissal claims.
2. Redundancy claims.
3. Discrimination.
4. Disputes regarding the national or minimum wage.

Wrongful Dismissal Claims

If you have a claim for wrongful dismissal you would normally not take this action to the Employment Tribunal. The reason for this is that the amount of compensation they can award is limited and quite often a claim for wrongful dismissal will exceed the limit in the Employment Tribunal. Therefore,Scotland Employment Tribunals Guide Articles it makes much more sense to take your claim for wrongful dismissal to the County Court.

Time Limits

The Employment Tribunal has certain time limits that must be adhered to, to ensure a claim can be heard. For example, a claim for unfair dismissal must be made within three months of the date of the dismissal, and in other cases the employee will have to have one year’s continuous employment before they can make a claim.

Before the claim is issued in the Employment Tribunal you must raise your complaint with your employer and they must be allowed twenty eight days to respond. If you do not take this action your claim to the Employment Tribunal may be rejected until you do so.

Payment of your salary whilst your claim continues

There are certain types of serious claims which allow an employee to make an immediate application to the tribunal for you to continue to receive your salary. The following are the types of claims for which you can make this application:-

• Whistleblowing (where your employer is carrying out dangerous or illegal practices). Failure to allow you to carry out relevant health and safety related activities when it is your job to do so.

• Taking someone with you to a disciplinary or grievance procedure and being dismissed for doing so.

• Acting as a worker’s representative in a disciplinary or grievance procedure.

• Trade Union related dismissals.

A claim for immediate payment of your salary must be made within seven days of the date of your dismissal.

What is the process for an Employment Tribunal application?

Once you have raised your Employment Tribunal application, ACAS will receive details of your claim and will contact you and your employer. They will attempt to resolve the dispute by negotiation.

If you are unable to settle the claim, the claim will continue through various hearings until finally the Employment Tribunal hear your application.

Final hearing at an Employment Tribunal

Once all the evidence has been obtained, the Tribunal will consider the claim and make their decision. The Tribunal consists of three people, one legally qualified chairman and two other people from industry or the business sector.

The Employment Tribunal can make one of the following decisions:-

• Reinstate you to your previous position of employment.
• Compensate you for your dismissal.
• Order that no compensation is payable to you.


The Employment Tribunal deals with all employment related matters and disputes and has similar powers to the County Court. However, dealing exclusively with employment matters makes it more focused and knowledgeable on these types of disputes. The only time you would not take an employment matter to the Employment Tribunal would be for wrongful dismissal where the compensation awarded

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