Making a claim to an employment tribunal

You might be able to make a claim to an employment tribunal if you have a problem at work that has not been resolved.

Before you make a claim, it's a good idea to explore all options with your employer about how things can move forward.

You can raise the problem with your employer informally by talking to your employer. If that does not work, you can raise a grievance – this is where you make a formal complaint to your employer.

Tell Acas you're making a claim

If you want to make a claim to an employment tribunal, you must tell Acas first.

We'll offer you early conciliation. This free service can help you and your employer resolve the issue before you need to make a claim.

Making a claim to a tribunal can be time consuming and difficult for everyone involved.

Some types of claim are 'exempt' from (do not have to go to) early conciliation. We cannot advise whether your claim is exempt. Find exemptions from early conciliation on

Employment tribunal fees

You do not have to pay a fee to make a claim to an employment tribunal.

Time limits

There are strict time limits for making a claim to an employment tribunal. In most cases, you have 3 months minus 1 day from the date the problem at work happened.

Find out more about employment tribunal time limits

If early conciliation ends without an agreement

We will issue an early conciliation certificate. A claimant will have a minimum of 1 calendar month from the date they receive the certificate to make a claim to the employment tribunal.

In some cases, a claimant might have longer than 1 month to make a claim to the employment tribunal. Working out the exact time limit can be complicated. You might want to get legal advice.

It's the claimant's responsibility to make sure that they make their claim to the tribunal in time. Only a tribunal can decide whether the claim is in time or not. The conciliator cannot decide or advise on this point.

Interim relief

In some cases, a dismissed employee can apply for 'interim relief' alongside their main employment tribunal claim.

A dismissed employee can only apply for interim relief in specific situations involving automatically unfair dismissal.

Find out more about interim relief

More information

You can find out more about employment tribunals from:

Last reviewed