Letter before Claim



Types of written communication in a dispute

There are three types of formal written communication that you engage in where you have a formal dispute with your employer.

  • You can raise a grievance where you are still employed.
  • You can have “without prejudice “ communication where you are trying to negotiate a settlement. These types of communication do not go before the tribunal.
  • Where you have been dismissed and do not therefore have the right to raise a grievance, you submit a “letter before claim”.

The letter before claim sets out the legal and factual basis of your claim. It tells your employer to settle the matter or else you will proceed to the employment tribunal or court. Remember that before you can go to the employment tribunal you would need to use the free ACAS Early Conciliation Service. In addition to the letter before claim, you can write a separate “without prejudice” letter to your employer setting out your proposals for settlement. The ACAS Early Conciliation service can help you with negotiating a settlement.


How to write the Letter before claim

  • Head the letter “Letter before claim”
  • If you are including a proposal to settle write “Without Prejudice” on the letter.
  • Write down what the problem is
  • Write what you want from your employer
  • Give your employer a deadline to respond.

Get a template letter to help you write your claim

Key points

  • Any letter or e-mail that you write containing an offer to settle should be marked “without prejudice”. You should not reveal these to the tribunal or court.
  • If your complaint is about discrimination you should consider using the Questions Procedure.
  • Don’t forget your time limits for making an employment tribunal claim.

Resources available

How to write a grievance that gets you what you want

How to write a grievance about bullying and harassment at work

How to write a grievance about changes to your employment contract

How to write a grievance about discrimination at work

How to write a grievance about the behaviour of a colleague, manager or supervisor

How to write a grievance about unauthorised deductions from your wages or salary

Disciplinary action and capability

Discrimination at work

Surviving a workplace suspension

Health and Safety Dismissal

How to fight dismissal on Probation

How to survive a criminal charge, conviction or caution at work

Social Media and Unfair Dismissal

Surviving a disciplinary investigation at work

Surviving Capability and Performance Management

The Disciplinary Hearing



This resource is published by Employee Rescue Limited. Please note that the information and any commentary on the law contained herein is provided free of charge for information purposes only. The information and commentary does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice. Employee Rescue accepts no responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material contained in this update. Further specialist advice should be taken before relying on the contents of this summary. No part of this summary may be used, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the prior permission of Employee Rescue Ltd.


Case Study

In the Scottish case of Collins v First Quench Retailing Ltd [2003], Ms Jacqueline Collins was awarded £179,000 from her employers when the off-license she managed was robbed. Ms Collins had been the manager of Victoria Wine, run by First Quench Retailing, for about ten years. When Mrs Collins started in the shop she had been concerned about security and raised this with management. Since 1977 there had been 13 reported crimes at the shop, including five thefts, one minor assault, one serious assault and one assault with intent to rob. There were two armed robberies in 1994 and four... Read More
Ms Jacqueline Collins was awarded £179,000 from her employers when the off-license she managed was robbed.Collins v First Quench Retailing Ltd
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