Hearings, decisions and appeals
Attending a hearing
We aim to give you at least 14 days notice of the date of your hearing. Information about hearings is available from the following leaflets:
At your request, we can arrange for hearings in Wales to be carried out in Welsh.
Please remember that we do not normally contact you again once we have arranged the hearing date. If we have to change the date of your hearing, we aim to let you know as soon as possible.
Before the date of your hearing, you can ask to watch another hearing so you will know about the procedures and what to expect. To do this, please contact the Customer Services Officer at the office dealing with your case.
We normally provide separate waiting rooms for people from opposing sides of a case. For example, claimants, and anyone acting in support of their case, will be separated from the respondent.
In every office we have a Customer Service Officer who can help if you have any special needs or suggestions about improving our service. If you would like to speak to the Customer Services Officer, please ask any member of our staff.
You can help us by arriving in good time for your hearing and letting us know beforehand if you need any special arrangements for access or other facilities.
We will try to deal with your case as quickly as possible but delays can happen, for example, because the case before yours takes longer than planned. We aim to deal with as many cases as possible during each day. This might mean a number of cases are 'unallocated' and will start as soon as there is a tribunal available. We also aim to tell you as soon as possible if a tribunal cannot hear your case that day.
These are held to:
- decide whether the claim or response should be struck out;
- decide questions of entitlement to bring or defend a claim;
- decide, if either side's case appears weak, whether a deposit needs to be paid and, if so, how much, before that side can go ahead;
- decide how future proceedings should be conducted;
- explore the possibility of settlement or alternative dispute resolution.
A letter giving you the date of the hearing will state the matters to be decided at the preliminary hearing. Unless the preliminary hearing is only to consider whether a deposit should be paid, it may well be necessary for evidence to be given at such a hearing. You will need to decide which witnesses (if any) and evidence to bring, bearing in mind the specific matters which the Tribunal will be considering at this stage.
This type of hearing is normally held in public before an Employment Judge sitting alone, but may also be held over the phone.
The final hearing
This is the hearing that:
- decides whether the claim succeeds or fails and, if it succeeds,
- what remedy is appropriate.
You can be represented at the hearing. Even if you have represented yourself or your own organisation up to the date of the hearing, it may be possible to arrange representation at the hearing itself.
Please make sure that you arrive at your hearing centre no later than 30 minutes before your hearing is due to start, making allowances for possible travel delays.
It can be useful to watch a hearing at a Tribunal so you can understand the procedure and see what happens. You can do this by contacting any Tribunal office and ask if there is a suitable hearing for you to observe.
You must make sure that the other party has at least 7 days notice of any documents you intend to use at your hearing.
Fees are payable for hearings. Some typical fees are:
|Type of case||Hearing fee|
|Breach of contract||£250|
If sending your claim by post you can pay by cheque or postal order made out to HM Courts & Tribunals Service.
You can bring witnesses to the hearing to give relevant evidence. Even if you have not been told to, it is helpful if you let the tribunal know beforehand how many witnesses you plan to bring. You may have been ordered by the tribunal to produce a written statement of your own evidence and for your witnesses. But even if you have not you may wish to consider doing so. However, in Scotland you should not do so unless ordered by the tribunal.
If you believe that a witness may have something of value to contribute to the evidence they should attend the hearing, rather than relying just on the contents of signed statements. This is especially important if you believe that the other side would challenge what the witness has to say. It is your responsibility to make sure that your witnesses come to the hearing.
You may ask the tribunal to issue a witness order which will summon someone that you want to have at the hearing, even if they do not want to be there. You must apply in writing well before the hearing.
If you do so you will need to tell the tribunal:
- the name and address of the witness;
- what the witness will say and how it will help your case; and
- why the witness is not willing to come to the hearing voluntarily.
Compensation and remedy
If you are the claimant
You will need to produce evidence of what you want. If you do not provide this information, you may not only recover less than you might otherwise be entitled to, but, if a further hearing is needed as a result of your failure, an order for costs (known as expenses in Scotland) could be made against you.
If you are the respondent
You should produce any evidence and submissions which relate to what the claimant is looking for if their claim is successful.
If the claimant succeeds in a complaint of unfair dismissal (or failing to allow a woman to return to work after pregnancy) the tribunal may consider ordering reinstatement or re-engagement. As a result you should be prepared to give evidence at the hearing as to:
- the availability of the job which the claimant held or of similar jobs;
- whether you would take the claimant back either in the old job or in a similar one; and
- your reasons if you say it would not be practical or possible to reinstate the claimant.
If the claimant was a member of a pension scheme, you must bring to the tribunal the following information:
- whether the scheme was a money-purchase or a final salary scheme.
- if it was a final-salary scheme, what is the value of the deferred pension
- the retirement age under the scheme
- the amount of the employers' contribution to the scheme.
At the end of the case we will always send a written judgment to you or to your representative. Written reasons for the judgment will also be given if you ask for them at the hearing or make a written request within 14 days of the date that the judgment was sent to you. The judgment is also available in Braille, on audio tape, in large print and on disk.
For information about appealing a judgment see leaflet T426 - The Judgment
Paper copies of judgments may be obtained from Employment Tribunal Field Support Unit for all Employment Tribunals for England and Wales and Glasgow Employment Tribunal Office for Judgments for Scotland.
Requests for England and Wales judgments should be made to:
Field Support Unit
100 Southgate Street
Bury St Edmunds
Tel: 0845 795 9775
Requests for Scottish judgments should be made to:
215 Bothwell Street
Tel: 0141 204 0730
Telephone lines are open 9am to 5pm
- the case/claim number
- the names of the parties in the case.
There is a charge of £10 for the first case and £5 for each additional case requested at the same time. Payment can only be made by cheque or postal order. Cheques should be made payable to HMCTS.
Certificated copies of judgments
If you need a certified copy of the judgment, you can get one free of charge by writing to:
Field Support Unit
100 Southgate Street
Bury St Edmunds
Register of judgments
Copies of judgments both in hard copy and an electronic index are currently held at:
Bury St Edmunds (100 Southgate Street IP33 2AQ) for England and Wales
Glasgow (Eagle Building, 215 Bothwell Street, Glasgow G2 7TS) for Scotland
From 21st November 2013 any record on the public register which is over six years old (from the date of judgment) will be deleted and copies will no longer be available.
Enforcing a decision
Information about enforcement can be found in our booklet The judgment (T426).
The ACAS and Employment Tribunal Fast Track can be used to enforce a judgment. Details can be found in leaflet Ex727 - I Have an Employment or an Employment Appeal Tribunal Award but the Respondent Has Not Paid. How Do I Enforce It?
In England and Wales, you can alternatively ask your local county court to enforce payment as soon as you have received the written judgment. The county court will need to see your copy of the tribunal’s judgment. More information is available in leaflet Ex328 - I Have a Tribunal Decision but the Respondent Has Not Paid. How Do I Enforce It?
In Scotland, you should write to the office in which your case was heard asking for an extract of the judgment. The tribunal office will issue an extract to you which a Sheriff Officer may use to enforce the payment. Once the extract has been issued, the tribunal can do no more to help you with enforcement. Do not ask for an extract until the end of the time allowed for appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), that is, 42 days from the date on which the judgment was sent to you.
If your employer is insolvent and owes you redundancy payment, contact the Redundancy Payments Service.
Appealing a decision
You can appeal any judgment, decision, direction or order by appealing to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT).
Further Information is available in leaflet T440 - I Want to Appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (These Procedures Apply to England and Wales).