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Why Employers Get Taken To Employment Tribunals

Over 100,000 employment tribunal cases are filed yearly in the UK. The staggering number highlights the significant role tribunals play in resolving workplace disputes. Learn the reasons employers often find themselves facing employment tribunals and how these tribunals work. Get valuable insights into navigating them effectively.

Understanding Employment Tribunals

At its core, an employment tribunal is an independent judicial body meant for cases related to employment matters. It provides a fair and accessible forum for employees with complaints against employers. This way, various workplace issues are provided with remedies.

The assessment of evidence from those involved in a dispute is the main role of an employment tribunal. The employment tribunal determines if there has been a violation of employment rights. It then takes appropriate action to ensure justice prevails.

Employment tribunals handle individual claims and also address collective disputes, like those related to redundancy or trade union matters. Additionally, they provide guidance and support to those in the disputes.

Various laws and regulations govern the UK employment tribunal system. The Employment Tribunals Act 1996 sets out the framework for the conduct of tribunals.

Common Reasons for Employment Tribunals

Facing an employment tribunal can be a challenging and costly experience for employers. Understanding the common reasons that lead to these tribunals is crucial for taking proactive measures to avoid disputes. Here are some typical triggers:

  • Unfair Dismissal: Employers terminate an employee’s contract without a fair reason or fail to follow proper dismissal procedures.
  • Discrimination: Acts of discrimination based on protected characteristics like race or religion.
  • Unpaid Wages: Failing to pay employees rightful wages. It can be minimum wage violations or unlawful deductions.
  • Breach of Contract: Any violation of the employment contract, from changes of working conditions to non-payment of promised benefits.

It is essential to create a fair and supportive work environment, prioritise effective communication, and have clear employment policies in place to mitigate the chances of disputes escalating to tribunals. Outsourced human resources in the UK can be a cost-effective solution. Outsourcing HR functions to reputable companies can provide valuable expertise and ensure compliance with employment laws. These external HR partners can assist in maintaining effective policies, processes, and documentation, ultimately reducing the risk of employment tribunals.

Navigating Employment Tribunals Effectively

Facing employment tribunals, employers need to be well-prepared and equipped with the right knowledge. Below are practical tips on how employers can effectively navigate these legal proceedings.

Gathering Strong Evidence: Evidence can include documents, emails, records, witness statements, or any other relevant information that strengthens your position. Having a well-documented and comprehensive evidence package can significantly impact the outcome of the tribunal.

Building a Solid Defense: This involves thoroughly analysing the claims against you, identifying any weak points, and crafting a robust argument to counter them. A well-prepared defense can help you effectively challenge the allegations made by the claimant.

Understanding the Tribunal Process: From the initial stage of submitting a response to attending the hearing and presenting your case, familiarising yourself with each step of the process will help you navigate it with confidence. Being aware of deadlines, submission requirements, and relevant legislation is essential to avoid any pitfalls along the way.

Presenting a Convincing Case: When presenting your case at the tribunal hearing, clarity, and persuasive communication are key. Organise your arguments logically. Present your evidence effectively. Make sure to address any potential counter-arguments. Engaging an experienced employment law specialist or representative can provide valuable guidance and ensure that your case is presented convincingly.


Understanding how employment tribunals work helps businesses navigate legal disputes effectively and minimise risk. Employers can take proactive measures to maintain a fair and compliant work environment by being aware of potential triggers.

Careful preparation and a solid understanding of the tribunal process are essential. Employers must gather relevant evidence, present a compelling defense, and engage in constructive dialogue with the tribunal panel. By doing so, businesses can increase their chances of achieving a favourable outcome.


What are employment tribunals?

Employment tribunals are UK judicial bodies that hear and decide on employment-related disputes. They provide a forum for employees and employers to resolve disagreements and issues arising from employment relationships. The role of employment tribunal is to impartially adjudicate on employment disputes. They consider the evidence presented by both parties and make a legally binding decision.

What services does the employment tribunal provide?

The employment tribunal handles claims for unfair dismissal, discrimination, breach of contract, and wages owed, among others. The employment tribunal service can also include mediation to encourage parties to reach a settlement before proceeding to a full hearing.

What is employment tribunal law?

Employment tribunal law refers to the body of legislation and regulations that govern the jurisdiction, procedures, and rights within employment tribunals. It includes laws relating to unfair dismissal, discrimination, redundancy, whistleblowing, and more.

What are some common reasons for employment tribunals?

There are common reasons for employment tribunal. Some of them are unfair dismissal, harassment or discrimination in the workplace, failure to pay wages, breach of employment contract, and redundancy disputes. These are just a few examples, as there can be various grounds for employees to bring a claim.

How does an employment tribunal work?

Employment tribunals begin with the employee lodging a claim, followed by the employer’s response. The tribunal then reviews the evidence and may hold a hearing, where both parties present their cases. After considering all the information, the tribunal makes a legally binding decision, which can include compensation or other remedies.

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