If you receive an ET1 form, it means a current or former employee has brought a claim against your business (and possibly one of your employees). The claim could be about something the company or one of its employees or agents has done or omitted to do to the “Claimant” in the course of their employment.
An Employment Tribunal claim is not to be taken lightly so you should move swiftly to meet your obligations as the “Respondent” to the claim.
Steps To Take If You Have Received An ET1 Claim Form
- Complete an ET3 form which represents your defence to the claim. The ET1 form will have been accompanied by a covering letter from the Employment Tribunal that specifies the date by which the ET3 needs to be filed. Put the date in your diary and do not miss it. The Claimant could benefit from a default judgment in their favour if you do not file the ET3 form in time, meaning the Tribunal will find that their claim has been successful and can go on to determine how much compensation you must pay.
- As soon as you receive an Employment Tribunal claim, we recommend contacting an expert employment lawyer immediately, so that they have as much time as possible to help you complete and file the ET3 form. Our national employment law team has helped hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses to complete this form and successfully defend a claim.
- If you cannot comply with the time limit (usually 28 days) for filing your ET3, you may want to apply for an extension. Note that this application does not have to be granted by the Tribunal.
- Make sure that the ET3 form addresses all of the complaints included in the ET1 and that you are clear about whether you accept or deny each complaint. You can address each individual complaint or generally deny each claim.
- The Claimant must make their complaints within three months of the dismissal or other act that is being complained about. If you think this time limit has been missed, you should say so on the ET3 form.
- Some of the information requested on the ET3 form is mandatory so make sure you complete those sections in full. If you want to defend the claim, make sure you tick the box indicating that this is your position. If you miss this box, the Claimant may benefit from a default judgment.
- Gather together the Claimant’s contract of employment and any documentation relating to the substance of the complaint and any procedures that you followed in relation to the Claimant. Keep these documents safe as you will need to send copies to the Claimant at a later stage.
- If the claim is straight-forward, the Tribunal may have listed the case for a hearing and issued directions that you must comply with. Make sure that you put any dates in your diary and that anyone involved in the case can attend the hearing. Failure to comply with the Tribunal’s directions could significantly impact on your ability to defend the claim and could result in the company being ordered to pay for the Claimant’s legal costs.
Contact Us For Help Responding To An ET1 Claim Form
If you have received an ET1 claim form and would like specialist legal advice, contact Fergal Dowling on 0121 214 5476 or get in touch online.
Book a call with one of our expert advisors for fixed-price legal help at a time that suits you.
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