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Unsure of your equality rights or the law? We can provide advice and assistance for people who feel they have been discriminated against.


What you need to know

Taking a discrimination case to the Tribunal

We provide free legal advice to over 4,000 individuals every year who believe they have been discriminated against.  For individuals who have been discriminated against in employment and wish to proceed, we assist approximately one in four cases in taking their case to the Tribunal.


Some individuals if not assisted by us, their trade unions, or some other legal or non legal representative or with a preference to take a case themselves can proceed unrepresented to the Tribunal.

You can take the Respondent to the Office of the Industrial Tribunal and Fair Employment Tribunal (the tribunal) if you think they have discriminated against you.  The tribunal is independent, and could order the Respondent to pay you compensation if you win your case.

As you are making the complaint of discrimination you will be referred to as the Claimant and the employer will be referred to as the Respondent during the tribunal proceedings.

As a Claimant you will have to demonstrate that you have been discriminated against and establish how your complaint relates to the equality law.

Internal grievance procedure

If you are still employed by the Respondent you are complaining about you are recommended to go through their internal grievance procedure.

Further information is available on the Labour Relations Agency's website.

Time limits

Before you proceed with your complaint of discrimination remember there are strict time limits for lodging a claim with the tribunal:


  • Within 3 months of the act of discrimination
  • In relation to religious and/or political discrimination, proceedings must be lodged within 3 months of the date you had knowledge of the act or if earlier within 6 months of the act complained of
  • If you have been suffering harassment over a period of time the time limit is within 3 months of the last act of harassment

Out of time claims may be admitted under the Tribunal’s just and equitable jurisdiction.

Overriding objective of the Tribunal

The overriding objective of the tribunal is to deal with cases justly. It is worth remembering this objective in the course of the proceedings and referring to it to support any argument you might have to make about the tribunal’s processes and the conduct of the hearing generally.
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