In the UK most employment law is categorised as 'civil law' or 'private law', meaning that it is enforced as a result of one party (the claimant) suing another (the respondent) either for compensation or some other remedy in a civil court. The claimant, who is normally a former employee or worker, an existing employee or worker, or a failed job applicant, therefore uses the court system to allege that the respondent (their employer or former employer) has:

  • caused them some kind of detriment, and
  • has done so in contravention of the law.

The members-only factsheet explains the key principles according to which the civil court system operates when handling employment cases.

Civil and criminal courts

Bringing a claim

Employment tribunals

The role of Acas

Deposits and costs

County courts and the High Court

Employment Appeals Tribunal

Court of Appeal, Court of Session and Supreme Court

European Court of Justice

Useful contacts

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