Petty Debts Court or Employment Tribunal

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When you need to make a claim against your employer, you must decide whether to pursue through the Petty Debts Court or the Employment Tribunal.

Below is a table of the differences between each service to help you decide.  If you are still unsure, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Petty Debts Court Employment Tribunal
Stamp Duty to bring the claim No cost to bring the claim
Process can take a few weeks up to a few months Process can take a few months to a year or more
Mediation at no extra cost Mediation at no cost
No need to use a lawyer No need to use a lawyer
Formal court More user-friendly court
Has a public gallery, usually only attended by people with claims being heard that day Has a public gallery, usually only attended by professionals for training purposes
Can award costs, including other party’s lawyer fees if they use one Does not usually award costs, but other party could claim costs another way
Can only award unpaid wages, holiday pay, notice pay and out of pocket expenses Can award any compensation under the Employment Law and out of pocket expenses
If claim goes to trial, affidavits are required which must be witnessed by a lawyer Paperwork does not need to be witnessed by a lawyer
Potentially vast amounts of paperwork required, including bundles Potentially vast amounts of paperwork required, including bundles
Names appear on Government court lists Names appear on Tribunal website lists
Judgments added to credit records, affecting losing party’s future access to credit Judgments published online, affecting both parties’ future employment/recruitment prospects
Can order how the debt is paid, including wage arrests and restraint on assets Cannot order how debt is paid, so a claim may still need to be made at Petty Debts Court