The ITFET is supported by an administrative team known as the Secretariat and is headed by a Secretary to the Tribunals. The office is commonly known as “OITFET” – the Office of the Industrial Tribunals and Fair Employment Tribunal. The administrative team are employees of the Department for the Economy. There are currently 60 staff across 4 sections:

1. Corporate Governance, Finance and Premises

This team is responsible for the timely completion of:-

  • departmental returns;
  • freedom of information and subject access requests; 
  • responses to assembly questions; and
  • responses to media enquiries

They also ensure compliance with data protection legislation, financial governance including budgetary matters, health and safety for all users of Killymeal House, IT systems including the maintenance of the website and public register of judgments and written reasons.

2. Vetting

The Vetting team is responsible for the receipt and distribution of all post received.  This mainly consists of claim forms, responses and correspondence.  The team scrutinise all claims and responses to ensure that they are legally correct before the claim can be registered and issued to the potential respondent(s). A similar vetting process is undertaken on receipt of a response to a claim.

Where claims/responses cannot be accepted, they must be referred to an Employment Judge for a direction. 

The team prepares claims for the early case management stage of the process and refers them to an employment judge for direction.

The team are responsible for the listing of any reconsideration applications received following the part or full rejection of claims or responses.

The team are also responsible for the processing of holiday pay and pension cases through to conclusion.

3. Listing

The listing team is responsible for the following:-

  • Maintaining Employment Judge schedules;
  • Scheduling first time case management preliminary hearings;
  • Issuing notices to parties;
  • Maintaining the Calendar of business to include full hearings and all other interlocutory matters;
  • Supporting the Judicial assessment and Judicial mediation processes;
  • Organising panel membership;
  • Organising interpreters where required;
  • Preparing case papers for panels; and 
  • Developing and issuing the weekly hearing schedules.

4. Tribunals

The Tribunal team deals with all the correspondence relating to a claim after it has been through the vetting and initial listing stages. The team will maintain an accurate record of the progress of each case including correspondence and telephone enquiries from parties and seek direction from judiciary.

The team carry out case work for listed cases following the first preliminary hearing until the conclusion of the case, including reconsiderations and appeals.

The team provides the clerks to administer the hearings which includes preparation of papers, taking brief notes where necessary, swearing in of witnesses, recording proceedings, issuing records of proceedings, actioning directions and issuing judgments to the parties.

5. Citizens charter

OITFET provides administration support to the Industrial Tribunals and Fair Employment Tribunal in Northern Ireland. We have 60 staff headed by the Secretary to the Tribunals.

We aim to provide you with a service that is fair, accurate and based on mutual trust and respect.

This Charter explains the standards of service you can expect from us and what we expect from you.

Please note that OITFET staff are unable to provide you with legal advice or provide opinion on the merits of your case. We can advise you solely on procedure.

 6. Making a complaint

The Office of the Industrial Tribunals and Fair Employment Tribunal staff aim to provide a high quality, efficient and effective administrative service. If you are unhappy with our service, please let us know.

We aim to deal with all claims, responses, applications and enquiries as quickly as possible and provide our customers with a polite and efficient service.

How to make a complaint about administration

If you are not satisfied with the administration of your case you can submit a complaint online using the Complaints form. you can submit online to or send by post to:

Customer Services Manager
Office of the Industrial Tribunals and Fair Employment Tribunal
Killymeal House
2 Cromac Quay


We will ensure that your concerns are followed up promptly and fairly. We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 5 working days.

If we have made a mistake we will apologise. We will tell you what went wrong and what we are doing to put things right. Your complaint will be dealt with within 15 working days.

If you are unhappy with the reply from the Customer Services Manager you can write to the Secretary of the Tribunals at the same address.

You may decide to refer your complaint to the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman (NIPSO). You can get advice from NIPSO at the following address:

Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman
Progressive House
33 Wellington Park

Tel: 028 90 233821
Freefone: 0800 343424

How to make a complaint about Judicial matters 

If your complaint relates to the hearing of your case, or any other judicial matter, you can write to the President of the Industrial Tribunals and Fair Employment Tribunal at the above address.

Please note that the President cannot alter or intervene in a decision made by a Tribunal. When you receive your written decision you will be sent guidance notes explaining how to apply for a review or appeal against the decision of the tribunal and the relevant time limits.