Making a claim
When a claim is made to the Employment Tribunal, it is said to have been "presented." Presenting a claim to the Employment Tribunal is complex; and for some, it may be stressful. This guidance is intended to simplify what's involved in the process.
The ordinary time limit for presenting a claim
Most claims must be presented to the Employment Tribunal within three months (less one day) from the date the action you are complaining about took place. For example, if your claim is about dismissal, and the last date of your employment was 31 May, your claim must be presented on or before 30 August. In equal pay claims, you usually have six months (less one day) from the end of the particular contract.
The time limits for presenting a claim are strictly adhered to by the Employment Tribunal. You can find out more about time limits here.
Early conciliation and the extended time limit
Early conciliation extends the time limits for presenting most statutory claims to the Employment Tribunal. The extended time limits take account of the early conciliation period, which adds to the original time limits. How the original time limits are affected, and more information about Acas early conciliation is explained here.
The information below should also be taken into account when considering the time limit since this will determine when the time limit starts.
Effective date of termination
In unfair dismissal claims, where an employee is required to work a period of notice, the time limit for presenting a claim will start to run from the last day of the notice period.
If the employee is dismissed with immediate effect and without notice, the time limit for presenting a claim will start to run from the date of the dismissal.
Appeals against dismissal
An appeal against dismissal will not stop the time limit for presenting a claim. The time limit will start to run from the effective date of termination.
Presenting the claim
The following information must be included in the ET1 claim form:
Your name, address and date of birth.
The Respondent's name and address; you should use the Respondent's registered address or check the Respondent's correct name in your contract of employment.
You must also include the address where you worked, which may not have been at the Respondent's registered address.
If you are presenting a discrimination claim, you may also wish to include a complaint against an individual as well as the Respondent. If so, then you must ensure you include the names and addresses of all the Respondents.
You should also include details of your pay and benefits, such as private health insurance, car allowance, pension contributions etc. Later on, as part of your evidence, you will be required to provide evidence of your salary, such as pay slips, bank statements, or P45.
You should include the compensation and remedy you are asking the Employment Tribunal to award, such as compensation for unfair dismissal and/or discrimination.
In addition, the Employment Tribunal can make a declaration of discrimination and/or recommendation that, for example, the employer allows flexible working or make a reasonable adjustment.
There are many different types of claim that can be made to the Employment Tribunal. The most common types of claims are:
Breach of contract.
Unlawful deduction of wages.
Other matters that should be included in the claim
You should include the key facts, in chronological order, which gives rise to the claim, such as why you say you have suffered discrimination or have been unfairly dismissed. In discrimination claims, you may include events that occurred previously as background if this supports your main claim.
Here are some key points to consider when drafting a claim:
Concentrate on your main claims which will give rise to compensation.
Set out the facts in chronological order but keep the details of your complaint concise, remember the claim form is not a witness statement.
Give dates for what happened wherever possible.
Do not include anything that is not relevant or use the claim form as an opportunity to "have a go" at the Respondent over matters that are not directly related to the claim.
Remember that the Employment Tribunal cannot make your case for you, so it's important to set your case out clearly.
You do not need to set out the legal provisions in any detail unless you are comfortable about doing this.
How to present the claim
A claim to the Employment Tribunal must be made using an "ET1" form.
You can complete a claim form online here.
Or you can download the claim form here and post it to the Employment Tribunal Central Office (Scotland), PO Box 27105, Glasgow, G2 9JR.
Or if you want, you can hand deliver your claim form to a designated Employment Tribunal office.
It is essential to note that you cannot submit your claim form by email or fax.
The Offices of the Employment Tribunals in Scotland are as follows:
48 Huntly Street
54-56 Melville Street
Glasgow Tribunals Centre
20 York Street