Employment Tribunals

This section explains about employment tribunals, when they are benefical and the types of common claims that are brought to one.

Jurisdiction to Hear a Claim

It is important to remember that not every employment problem can result in an employee pursuing a claim in an Employment Tribunal.

It may be beneficial for the employee to raise a grievance either formally or informally with their manager to try and resolve matters in the first instance. Please see the page on grievances for further information.

Before employees may proceed to an Employment Tribunal they must contact an organisation called ACAS. ACAS are a mediation service used to try and resolve matters between employers and employees without the need to go to the Tribunal. Please see the ACAS Early Conciliation process page for further information.

The Employment Tribunal should therefore be an option once all other avenues have been considered.

An Employment Tribunal can only hear certain types of claims. The list of these claims is long and it would not be possible to list them all for the purposes of this page.

Below is a list of the most common claims brought in the Employment Tribunal:

Common claims against an employer that cannot be brought in the Employment Tribunal include:

  • Personally injury claims, including work related stress
  • Breach of contract claims (whilst still employed)
  • Claims if you are genuinely self-employed
  • Defamation
  • Breaches of data protection
  • Harassment claims that do not come under the Equality Act 2010 (please see our discrimination page for further information)

Although these claims cannot be brought in the Employment Tribunal, they may be brought in the Civil Courts instead.

Employment Tribunals have very strict time limits in which to bring a claim.

If you are unsure about any aspect of employment law then you can refer to our other UnionLine employement rights pages - in particular the one on the issue of Limitation in Employment cases. You may also want to seek specific advice from your GMB Region in the first instance.

The purpose of this advice page is to give an overview of some of the rights that are available to you, however this page is no substitute for specific advice which you can obtain from your GMB Trade Union Representative.

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