Before making a claim
If you think you have a claim for the tribunal to consider, you should make sure that the tribunal has the jurisdiction to deal with the matter you wish to raise, and that you submit your claim within the time limit allowed. Failure to make your claim within the time limit may deprive you of the right to have your claim heard.
You can make your claim to the tribunal online, however if you require a manual claim form it can be obtained from any local Jobs and Benefits Office/JobCentre or from the Office of the Tribunals
Getting help with a claim
You may wish to contact the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland about advice and/or representation Equality Commission for Northern Ireland. Your trade union or a Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to help with your claim. For information relating to employment matters you may wish to contact the Labour Relations Agency.
According to your financial circumstances, you may also be entitled to Legal Aid for the purpose of obtaining legal advice in connection with a claim to a tribunal and the preparation of a case for hearing (but not for representation at the hearing). Information about Legal Aid is available from the Legal Services Agency Northern Ireland.
Making a claim - required information
Your claim cannot be accepted unless it meets certain conditions. For example, it cannot be accepted if you have not given the mandatory / required information in one or more of the sections of the claim form. A claim to the Fair Employment Tribunal must state:
a) each claimant’s name and address;
b) the name(s) and address(es) of each person against whom the claim is made, (the respondent(s));
c) full detail of the claim(s) which you are making to inform the person or body complained against, of the case which has to be met;
d )whether or not the claimant is or was an employee of the respondent;
The Fair Employment Tribunal will decide if your claim is well founded at, or following, a hearing at which you and the person or body against whom you are complaining about may attend and speak. You may present your case yourself. If you wish you may at any time nominate a person to represent you with their agreement e.g. trades union official, solicitor etc. You should name your representative on your claim form and obtain their advice on the completion of that form. Correspondence will thereafter be sent to your representative but you will be informed of the date, time and place of the hearing before the Industrial Tribunal and you will be sent your own copy of the Tribunal’s decision in due course. Make sure that your representative keeps you informed of the progress of your claim.
Receipt of the claim
The Office of the Tribunals will acknowledge receipt of your claim after they receive it. If your claim is accepted a copy of it will be sent to the respondent(s). We will inform the respondent(s) in writing about how to present a response to your claim, the time limit for doing so and what may happen if a response is not entered within the time limit. You will be sent a copy of the response.
After you have made your claim, any further correspondence about the case should be sent to the Office of the Tribunals. At the same time you should send a copy to the respondent. You should also notify the Office of the Tribunals promptly of any change of address. Correspondence will be copied to any other party to the proceedings.
Withdrawal of claim
If you are the claimant and you decide to withdraw your claim before the commencement of the hearing, you must let the Office of the Tribunals know at the earliest possible moment and confirm this in writing. Without your written request for withdrawal, the tribunal may proceed to hear the case, even in your absence.