Employment-related tribunal claims

Employment-related tribunal claims: glossary of terms and jargon


The following are some plain English definitions of employment-related tribunal terms and jargon that you may come across:

  • Case management discussion - a private meeting held before an employment judge to decide on matters such as the date, time and length of the hearing
  • Claim - the written complaint against you, set out on an ET1(NI) form, sent by a claimant to the employment-related tribunal
  • Claimant - the individual - usually an employee or ex-employee making a claim to an employment-related tribunal
  • Early Conciliation - a workplace dispute resolution service provided by the Labour Relations Agency to employees, employers, and their representatives - claimants who wish to lodge a claim with the Industrial or Fair Employment Tribunal must first notify the Labour Relations Agency and discuss the option of Early Conciliation
  • Employment judge - a legally qualified person with knowledge of employment law and business experience who directs an employment-related tribunal hearing
  • Employment-related tribunal - the panel of people on an Industrial Tribunal or Fair Employment Tribunal who listen to evidence and reach a decision during a hearing
  • ET1(NI) - the form the claimant fills in to make a claim
  • ET3(NI) - the form the respondent fills in to give their response to the claimant's claim
  • Hearing - the proceedings during which both parties present their evidence and defend their claim in front of the employment-related tribunal, after which it reaches its judgment
  • Office of the Industrial tribunals and the Fair Employment Tribunal (OITFET) - the organisation that administers employment-related tribunal claims
  • Judgment - the employment judge's or employment-related tribunal's decision on the outcome of the claim, ie whether it succeeds or fails, or on a matter relating to the proceedings
  • Lay members - people with experience of employment relations, either from an employers' standpoint, or from a trade union or employees' standpoint, who sit on an employment-related tribunal alongside an employment judge
  • Party - either the claimant (plus their representative if they have one) or respondent (plus their representative if they have one)
  • Preliminary hearing - a meeting held in public before an employment judge to decide preliminary matters and which may result in a claim or part of a claim being struck out without the need for a full hearing
  • Reasons - an explanation of why or how a particular judgment was arrived at
  • Representative - a person who acts on the behalf of either the claimant or respondent during conciliation, case management discussions, pre-hearing reviews and the employment-related tribunal hearing itself
  • Respondent - the party - usually an employer - against whom the claim is made against by the claimant
  • Response - the written reasons why the respondent will (or will not) be defending a claim
  • LRA Workplace Information Service
    03300 555 300
  • Office of the Industrial Tribunals and the Fair Employment Tribunal
    028 9032 7666
Developed with:
  • Department for the Economy
  • LRA