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After the employment tribunal hearing

This advice applies to Northern Ireland

About after the employment tribunal hearing

If you've got a problem at work that you can't sort out, you may be able to make a claim to an employment tribunal.

This page is about what happens after your employment tribunal hearing, including compensation from your employer and whether you can make an appeal.

There may be other ways of sorting out your problem than making a claim to an employment tribunal.

To find out more about other ways of sorting out your problem at work, see Sorting out problems at work.

To find out more about making a claim to an employment tribunal, see Employment tribunals.

Understanding the employment tribunal's decision

When you get the employment tribunal's decision about your case, you may want to talk about it with your adviser or representative to make sure you understand it all. If you don't have an adviser or representative, and the tribunal panel tell you their decision in person, you should ask them to explain if there's anything you don't understand.

If the tribunal give you their decision later on in writing, there may be an organisation which can help you to understand it.

For details of organisations which may be able to help you with a claim to an employment tribunal, see What help can I get with a problem at work

If you've won, the tribunal might take a break to allow you and your employer to try to agree a settlement. It can be good for both sides to agree a settlement, even at this stage. For example, you might be able to use the fact that you've won to get your employer to agree to give you a reference, as well as some money.

But if you can't reach a settlement, you can go back to the tribunal for them to make the compensation award. This might happen on the same day as your hearing, or it might be a separate hearing.

To find out more about agreeing a settlement with your employer, see Understanding the LRA and settlements.

What happens next?

If the employment tribunal decides you should get compensation, they will do the sums and make an order for how much your employer should pay you, and when this should be paid by.

Hopefully, this will be the end of the case and your employer will send you or your representative a cheque.

However, it’s possible that your employer will apply for either a review of the decision or make an appeal. This means that they might ask for the tribunal to look at their decision again (review), or for the case to be looked at by a higher court (appeal). In Northern Ireland an appeal against a decision of an employment tribunal is heard by the Court of Appeal. An appeal like this can only be made on a point of law. If this happens, it might take a long time for the case to be finished.

Cases that go to the Court of Appeal can get very complicated and involve difficult legal arguments. If you're in this situation, you should try to get advice.

You can get advice from a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those which give email advice, click on nearest CAB.

There may be other organisations which can help you. For details of these organisations, see What help can I get with a problem at work.

What if my employer doesn't pay up?

In a small number of cases, your employer may not pay you the compensation awarded by the employment tribunal.

If your employer doesn’t pay you what you have been awarded, you may want to get more advice about what to do.

You can get advice from a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those which give email advice, click on nearest CAB.

There may be other organisations which can help you. For details of these organisations, see What help can I get with a problem at work.

Can I appeal if I lose my employment tribunal case?

If you lose your employment tribunal case and you have a representative, they will advise you on whether you can ask for the case to be looked at again, or whether you can appeal.

You can only appeal if there was a problem with a point of law in your case. Usually, you can't appeal just to challenge a decision you're not happy with. So it's quite rare for cases to be appealed. And of those cases which do appeal, only a very small number are actually changed.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to accept the tribunal's decision if it's gone against you. If you're not happy with a decision, and you don’t have a representative, you'll need to get advice if you want to ask for your case to be looked at again, or you want to appeal. This may mean that you need to see a solicitor as this is a specialised area of advice.

If you want to appeal, you must have the full written reasons for the tribunal's judgment. If the judgment was given in person, you can ask for full written reasons to be sent to you at that time. If the judgment was sent to you in the post after the hearing and the reasons weren't attached, you must make sure you ask for the reasons within 14 days. You must put in your appeal within 42 days of the date the written reasons for the judgment were sent out.

To find details of organisations that may be able to help you find a solicitor, see What help can I get with a problem at work.

More about problems at work

To find out more about problems at work and employment tribunals, see Sorting out problems at work.

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