The next steps after you file your claim
Once your claim is received by the Employment Tribunal, it will be reviewed and then either accepted or not accepted.
If your claim is accepted
If your claim is accepted, you will be sent a letter to tell you this, along with a booklet which explains what the next steps are.
If your claim is not accepted
Your claim will not be accepted if it is not on the correct form, or if you haven't provided all the information that is needed. If this happens, your form will be sent back to you with a letter explaining the problem and what you should do.
What happens when your claim is accepted
Once your claim is accepted, the Employment Tribunal usually sends a copy of your claim form:
- to the respondent (the person you are claiming against) along with a form to fill in with their response (reply)
- to ACAS (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) along with the respondent’s response
An ACAS conciliator will contact you to try and help you solve the problem without needing to go to an Employment Tribunal. This is a free service and all of your discussions with ACAS are confidential. They will continue to be available all the way along, to help you resolve your claim without a hearing.
What happens if the respondent doesn't reply
The respondent in your case must send in a response within 28 days of the date that the claim is sent to them. They could get an extension if granted by the Employment Tribunal. If they don’t reply within this time, or if they don’t supply the information that has been asked for, their response won’t be accepted.
In these cases, the Employment Judge can issue what’s called a ‘default judgment’ and will normally do so. This means they will make a decision about your claim without you having to go to a hearing.
However, if you haven't given enough information about the money you are claiming, you may have to attend a 'remedies hearing'. This will allow the Employment Judge to make the necessary calculations.
Section 6 of the ET1 claim form asks about the amount of money you are claiming. Make sure you give as much information as you can.
What happens if the respondent's response is accepted
Once a response is accepted, an Employment Judge will consider how best to manage your case, and what type(s) of hearing you will need to attend.
Case management discussions
During a case management discussion, the Employment Tribunal may decide that more information is needed from either you or the respondent (the other party) to clear up a particular matter. They can give directions in writing or issue orders for further information which you (or the respondent) must follow.
If you decide that you need more information from the respondent, you should ask for it in writing, giving a reasonable time limit for them to respond. If they don’t respond, you can ask the Employment Tribunal to issue an order. You should do this as soon as possible enclosing a copy of your written request.
If witnesses are needed at the hearing and won’t come voluntarily, the Employment Tribunal can send a witness order to make them attend.
A case management discussion usually decides the date, time and length of the full hearing. They are normally held in private before an Employment Judge sitting alone, or over the phone.
If there is any doubt if the Employment Tribunal can deal with your claim or not, they can hold a pre-hearing review to decide.
If the Employment Judge thinks that your claim (or any part of it), has ‘little reasonable prospect of success’ they can order you to pay a deposit of up to £500. You will have the opportunity to explain the basics of your case to the Employment Judge before they make this decision.
This is a condition to allow you to take part in that particular part of the case – there may be other parts to the case that you don’t have to pay a deposit on. This only happens very occasionally.
Pre-hearing reviews are normally held in public before an Employment Judge sitting alone.
You will receive a letter giving you details of the hearing - which is where your case will be considered and a final decision made.
How the Employment Tribunal lets you know what's happening with your case
Once your claim is accepted, it will be given a case number. You will need to provide this number every time you contact the Employment Tribunal Office by phone or in writing.
The Employment Tribunal will call you ‘the claimant’, and the person you are complaining against will be called ‘the respondent’ in any letters they send to you. They will send a copy of your claim and copies of any other documents or letters you send them to the respondent. They will also send you copies of all the documents that the respondent sends in.
What happens if someone else is representing you for the case
If you are using a solicitor or someone else to represent you, all letters and other information about your case will be sent to them and not to you. If you have any requests for further information from the Employment Tribunal, they need to be sent by your solicitor or representative, not by you.
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