How to prepare for an employment tribunal

Written by Nigel Simpkins

A job may not always work out in the way that you hope. If something isn’t going right then you might find that it makes sense to quit, and in some cases an employer will terminate your employment. When this happens, it can feel very upsetting, and can cause a lot of distress – some of this feeling will be because the events were out of your control.

In most cases, there will be a reason for you to quit or be fired, and, even if you are upset, you can move on and find another job that suits you better. However, in some situations that firing might feel unfair, and in this case you can take your employer to an employment tribunal for compensation. If you have chosen to do this, here are some tips on how to prepare.

A Solicitor

Although you can represent yourself, if you really want to make the most of your time in court and make a good impression, you should hire an employment tribunal solicitor. They will be able to put your case across eloquently, and with the right information so that a judge can see your side of things clearly and concisely.

You will be nervous in your employment tribunal, even if you have plenty of evidence to say that your employee was in the wrong and you have a strong case. Being nervous may mean you aren’t able to put your point across well, or you forget to mention something important – with a solicitor this won’t happen.


We’ve just mentioned evidence, and this is one of the most important elements of an employment tribunal. The case can hinge entirely on this evidence, so it is crucial to have it all in place before you start.

The judge will want to see evidence from both sides, so they will ask the employer and you to show what you have. The employer will present evidence that shows they had no choice but to dismiss you, so it is your job to find evidence to show that there was no reason for them to do this. It can be difficult to find this evidence, but looking back at contracts and emails between the two of you is a good start.

What to Wear

No matter what your position or the reason for the employment tribunal, you need to make a good impression in the court, and part of this is wearing the right clothing (the rest is down to your overall behaviour and demeanour).

You need to wear something smart and formal. There should be no jeans or trainers, and certainly nothing that is ripped or looks dirty. You might not be comfortable in a suit or smart clothes, but your employment tribunal is not the time to make a stand to show your individuality no matter how important that is in real life – you need to prove you can follow the rules and your clothing should give that impression.