13. Tribunal claims

Most litigation relating to employment law claims is brought in the Employment Tribunal. This is a relatively informal forum which may however deal with complex claims of very high value, particularly in relation to discrimination, where there is no cap on the amount of compensation that may be awarded. There is a limited right for employers to counter-claim in certain circumstances. However, normally the forum for employers to bring claims against employees (or ex-employees in the case of enforcement of covenants) is in the High Court.

Most claims must be started within three months from the date the act complained of occurred, although in some instances (equal pay and redundancy payments) the time limits are longer, and in discrimination claims the tribunal may extend the deadline if it is satisfied it would be just and equitable to do so.

At present there is no fee for bringing a claim in the Employment Tribunal and conversely it is unusual for an award of costs to be made against an unsuccessful party. Set out below are some of the more common complaints made in tribunal. A fee system is due to be implemented shortly together with new rules of procedure. (Exact dates are not yet known but Summer 2013 is set.)