Employment Tribunals have statutory jurisdiction to hear many kinds of disputes between employers and employees.
Claims are normally initiated by individuals, and normally responded to by employers, or former employers, or trade unions. The terms \'claimant\' and \'respondent\' are used to describe the parties involved in Tribunal proceedings. Normally each party pays its own costs.
Tribunals will order one party to pay the other party\'s costs in exceptional circumstances, where it is claimed that one party has claimed vexatiously. Tribunals are intended to be informal. There is no special court dress or complex civil procedure rules as at a County Court.
Prior to a hearing case management may take place to hand down directions as to how the full hearing will be heard. This can be by one of several means, either through correspondence between the parties and the Employment Tribunal or in a Case Management Discussion (CMD). An increasing number of Case Management Discussions take place by telephone.