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Tribunal procedures and penalties

Updating author: Tina McKevitt


  • Statutory employment protection rights are enforced in the employment tribunal rather than the courts. (See Tribunal jurisdiction)
  • Breach of contract claims may be brought in the tribunal or courts subject to certain qualifying conditions. (See Tribunal jurisdiction)
  • Tribunal procedure is governed by the Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/1237). (See Rules of procedure)
  • There are strict time limits for lodging employment tribunal claims and submitting responses. (See Time limits for bringing a claim and The response form: form ET3)
  • Tribunals may make case management orders on their own initiative or on an application by one of the parties. (See Case management)
  • There are rules limiting the postponement of tribunal hearings. (See Postponements)
  • At a preliminary hearing the tribunal may, among other things, consider whether or not a claim or response should be struck out in whole or in part and make a deposit order. (See Preliminary hearings)
  • The maximum amount of a costs order that may be made by an employment tribunal is usually £20,000. (See Costs)
  • An employment tribunal has the power to order an employer that has breached a worker's rights to pay a financial penalty. (See Financial penalties for employers)
  • Enforcement officers have the power to impose financial penalties on employers that fail to pay a financial award ordered by an employment tribunal or a settlement sum agreed following conciliation by Acas. (See Non-payment of employment tribunal awards - financial penalties)