When you can claim
You can make a claim to an employment tribunal if you think someone has treated you unlawfully, such as your employer, a potential employer or a trade union.
Unlawful treatment can include:
- unfair dismissal
- unfair deductions from your pay
You usually have to make a claim to the tribunal within 3 months of your employment ending or the problem happening.
The tribunal is independent of government and will listen to you (the ‘claimant’) and the person you are making a claim against (the ‘respondent’) before making a decision.
See if there is another way to solve the problem before you make a claim to a tribunal, such as using a grievance procedure.
Before you make a claim
You must tell the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) that you intend to make a claim to the tribunal.
You will be offered the chance to try and settle the dispute without going to court by using Acas’s free ‘Early Conciliation’ service.
If early conciliation does not work, Acas will send you an early conciliation certificate - use this when you make a claim to the tribunal.
Once you receive your certificate, you will have at least one month left to make your claim.
Help you can get
Call the Employment Tribunal customer contact centre if you have any questions about your claim. They cannot give you legal advice.
Employment Tribunal customer contact centre
Telephone: 0300 123 1024
Textphone: 18001 0300 123 1024 (England and Wales)
Call Acas if you have any questions about early conciliation. They cannot answer questions about your claim.
Telephone: 0300 123 1100
Textphone: 18001 0300 123 1100
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
You may want to get legal help or advice if you are in England and Wales or Scotland before you make your claim.
Your trade union may be able to pay for a solicitor.
The Equality Advisory and Support Service can help if your claim is about discrimination. You may also be able to get legal aid.
- After you make a claim
- Going to a tribunal hearing
- If you win your case
- If you lose your case
- Get a refund for tribunal fees
For further information: