Home Rules Legal Courts & Tribunals Employment Tribunal › Going to a Hearing
Employment Tribunal Hearing Procedure

Most tribunals take place at an employment tribunal office near to your workplace. Find further information about the employment tribunal hearing procedure - win or lose.

ATTENDING A TRIBUNAL HEARING: If you have documents to support your case you must take them with you.

You cannot make a claim for expenses for going to the tribunal hearing. But, you can take someone with you, such as a work colleague.

What will happen at the Hearing?

Either you, or someone else, will present your case to the tribunal. The other person can be a family member, a friend, or a lawyer.

The respondent is the person you make the claim against. They will also have an opportunity to respond by presenting their case against you. As a rule, the claimant ‘you‘ gives evidence first. An exception would be in unfair dismissal cases.

The employment tribunal hearing procedure allows you to call witnesses to give evidence. During the hearing process you may get asked questions about the details of the case by:

  • The respondent.
  • The judge and two other tribunal members (in certain cases).

Hearing Decision Process

The tribunal hearing decision gets sent by postal methods. You should receive the decision or judgment within a few days or a few weeks after the hearing.

Note: They can give out the ‘judgment’ straight away at the hearing in some cases.

Winning the Case

The tribunal can make several orders if you win the case. They can order the losing party to do certain different things. It would depend on the type of case. But, some examples include handing out an order to:

  • Pay compensation to the winning claimant.
  • Pay expenses incurred by the claimant or their witnesses.
  • Improve working conditions or reinstate a job (where appropriate).

Any amount of compensation awarded to the claimant will depend on:

  • What type of case got taken to a tribunal. Upper limits exist on certain proceedings.
  • How much money the claimant lost because of the actions of the respondent.
  • The age, salary, and length of service completed by the claimant.

If the Respondent Refuses to Pay Compensation

What can you do if the respondent fails to make a payment award? The first step is to contact them and ask them for a reason.

The next step is to get them fined if they still refuse to pay. You would need to the courts system to force them into paying up.

Note: The respondent has 42 days to make an appeal. If they appeal, or plan to make on appealing, you cannot fine or force them to pay up.

Penalty Enforcement: Fining a Respondent

Employment Tribunal Hearing Procedure in the United KingdomClaimants must use the employment tribunal penalty enforcement form to fine a respondent.

Fill in the form and then return it to the address written on the form. You can also send it using digital methods to [email protected].

The respondent receives a warning notice after you submit the form. It gives them 28 days to pay the claimant. Failing to do so means they will have to pay a fine. You can still apply to a court to force them into paying up.

Forcing a Payment in England or Wales

The Fast Track scheme uses a High Court Enforcement Officer. Their roles is very much like that of a bailiff. The HCE Officer can demand a payment from the respondent.

The cost to send in a High Court Enforcement Officer is £66. But, you get it back from the respondent once they settle the debt.

Use the Fast Track Enforcement form available on the GOV.UK website. You should use the Acas settlement form for cases settled before a hearing. Fill in the relevant form and then return it to the address written on the form.

The local county court can also send an enforcement officer to get the money. This cost for this service is £44.

Fill in Form N322B which is an application to enforce an award form. Return the form with a copy of the tribunal decision to the local county court.

Forcing a Payment in Scotland

A different procedure operates in Scotland. First of all, you should write to the office that heard the case. Ask them for an ‘extract of the judgment‘. In Scotland, a sheriff officer uses this document to force the respondent into a payment.

Note: What are your rights if your employer is insolvent? An example would be if they are in administration, liquidation, or in receivership. In this case you can still make a claim for money that they owe you, including any redundancy payments.

If You Lose an Employment Tribunal

What happens if you lose a case after the employment tribunal hearing procedure? First of all, you can ask the tribunal to reconsider the decision or ‘judgment‘. Write to the tribunal office within 14 days of getting the final decision.

Note: The letter should explain why you want your particular case reconsidered. Send it to the tribunal office and venue that dealt with the case. But, you will need a valid reason to get a reconsideration such as:

  • You can provide new evidence to the case.
  • You feel the tribunal made a mistake during the process of reaching its decision.
  • You did not get informed about the hearing date, or you did not attend the hearing.

Appeal to Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT)

There may be cases where you believe the employment tribunal made a legal mistake. If so, you can make an appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

How to Reclaim Tribunal Fee

There are ways to get a refund on fees paid at an Employment Tribunal or an Employment Appeals Tribunal. But, you must have paid the fee between the 29th of July 2013 and the 26th of July 2017.

You can apply online to reclaim tribunal fees providing:

  • Your name remains unchanged since you made the original claim to the tribunal.
  • The claim was against only one employer.
  • You have a bank account in the United Kingdom.

Note: You will need to apply either by post or by email if you cannot claim a tribunal refund online. Remember to include the amount that you paid in tribunal fees.

Applying Online

You can apply online for a refund of Employment Tribunal or Employment Appeal Tribunal Fees (or both).

Applying by Email or by Post

There are different forms to use if you claim by post. It will depend on your reason for paying the fees:

  • Use Form 1/2CR: If you made the claim on your own and paid the fees. Use the same form if a claim was brought against you and you were ordered to pay someone’s fees, or if you paid any other fees to the tribunal.
  • Use Form 3S: If you paid the fees for someone else to make the claim or you were the ‘lead claimant’ in a joint (multiple) claim.

Note: Fill in the appropriate form and then send it by post or by email to HM Courts and Tribunals Service.

HM Courts and Tribunals Service (England and Wales)
Customer Contact Centre
PO Box 10218
Email: [email protected]

HM Courts and Tribunals Service (Scotland)
Customer Contact Centre
PO Box 27105
G2 9JR
Email: [email protected]
Note: Tribunal fee refunds get transferred to a UK bank account (plus 0.5% interest). HMCTS will send you a letter that confirms the amount refunded.

Employment Tribunal Procedure Rules

Legislation exists on how cases get handled in Employment Tribunals. The legal process applies from the start of a claim to what happens at a hearing. Thus, you will also need to follow the same rules and processes for tribunals.

Employment Tribunal Hearings and Procedures in United Kingdom