Legislation overview

There are many Acts and regulations governing tribunal claims. A full list is given at the end of these Q&As.

Non-prescriptive guidance from the Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in England and Wales and Scotland is sometimes made available, and sometimes practice directions are issued by the courts and tribunals. These support the relevant rules and set out what the courts and tribunals expect. The guidance is not binding on the parties, but tribunals do have regard to it.

Tribunal claims are inextricably linked with the procedures employers and employees should follow before disputes reach the tribunal (see our Discipline and grievance procedures Q&As).

Dispute resolution procedures in Northern Ireland are slightly different, and Northern Ireland has its own tribunal system.

Compromise and settlement

The important rules currently governing settlement agreements are generally contained in the Employment Rights Act 1996, especially section 203.

However, other legislation is also relevant. For example, numerous pieces of legislation all mention the inability to contract out of the relevant employment rights unless by way of a formal agreement.

What should an employer do when it receives a claim form (ET1)?

What happens after the response form (ET3) has been filed, or if it is late?

What should the employer put in the response form (ET3) before submitting it?

Can claim or response forms be amended after submission?

How does the employer check if the employee’s claim is in time?

In what circumstances do employees have extra time?

What are the ways of funding legal costs?

Can an employer claim back its legal costs?

What remedies are available?

How is discrimination compensation calculated?

What is the role of an Acas representative?

What is Acas early conciliation?

What is the initial sift stage, and what does an employer need to do between this stage and the hearing?

Can an employer conduct tribunal proceedings without a lawyer?

Can an employer stop an employee proceeding with a weak or vexatious claim?

What forms of mediation and conciliation are available?

Can secretly recorded evidence be used?

What should an employer do if it does not wish to answer an employee’s questions in a discrimination and/or equal pay claim?

Can an employee sue both an employer and a manager together in the employment tribunal and how does vicarious liability work?

What is a settlement agreement?

What does the law say about the negotiations leading to termination of employment or settlement agreements?

Q: What should employers know about the Acas Code of practice on settlement agreements?

Q: Should an employer include warranties in a compromise or settlement agreement?

Q: Why should an employer offer to pay for their ex-employee to have legal advice from a relevant independent adviser before entering into a compromise or settlement agreement?

Is it safe to start discussing terms of settlement on a ‘without prejudice’ basis with an employee when a disciplinary or grievance hearing is in progress?

What are the fees and costs?

Q: What are the fines and penalties which can be payable in the employment tribunal?

Q: Are termination payments taxable?

Future developments

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