Last updated: 6th December 2021
In order to proceed with your claim at Employment Tribunal you will need to complete an ET1 Claim Form.
Before you can lodge your ET1 Claim Form you must have registered your case with ACAS Early Conciliation first, in order to obtain an ACAS Certificate.
This certificate will contain a number (normally beginning with an R) which you will need to complete your claim form – the ET1.
You can make a claim to an Employment Tribunal via the gov.uk website, and this is the way that most people start their claims.
Below is a PDF of the form you will be asked to complete.
As you will see from the above, you will be required to submit certain details about yourself, your circumstances and the nature of your complaint against your employer (the respondent).
This will include information, such as:
- The dates that you worked for your employer
- The hours you would normally work for them
- How much you were/are paid by them
Most importantly, you will have to specify the types of claim you want to bring against your employer, and the basis for those claims.
Essential To Know
Section 8.2 of your ET1 Claim Form is the most important section as this is where you ‘set out the background and details of your claim’.
You should ideally set out the legal basis of your claim, followed by the factual basis of your claim.
We have created many useful pages relating to the various types of typical claim which you might find useful to reference ahead of lodging your ET1. Links to these are set out below.
Within section 8.2 you will need to set out the legal claim you are bringing. For example:
- Unfair Dismissal
- Constructive Dismissal
- Unlawful Deduction of Wages
- Breach of Contract
- Claim for Unpaid Wages
Whilst this section of the form does not need to be in a specific format, you should set it out so that the other side and the Employment Tribunal can understand what you are claiming, and why.
It is very important when drafting this part of your ET1 Claim Form, that you specify all relevant dates as far as possible.
Keep your structure in chronological order.
You may find it useful to use numbered paragraphs, and even sub headings when drafting this section.
Essential To Know
You should keep in mind that if you miss out an important part of the factual background within your claim form, this may raise a few eyebrows at a later stage.
The Employment Tribunal judge will be very curious to know why such a key detail was omitted. So, make sure you clearly describe all of the most important facts that you rely upon.
If you can’t fit all of your information into the form itself, there is an option for you to save the details of your claim in an .rtf (Rich Text Format) document that you can then attach to your claim form.
PLEASE NOTE: When you issue your claim, double check that your .rtf file has attached itself to your ET1 Claim Form.
It is certainly worth keeping in mind the legal tests/definitions that you are relying upon before you start drafting section 8.2. The tribunal judge and other side would like to see as much clarity as possible as to how you are arguing your case.
For example, you may have a discrimination claim, but they will want to know what type of discrimination you are alleging.
Is it direct discrimination under Section 13 of the Equality Act 2010?
Or, are you alleging indirect discrimination under Section 19 of the Equality Act 2010?
Alternatively, you may be pursuing a harassment claim which is a subcategory of discrimination under Section 26 of the Equality Act 2010, or a victimisation claim which would fall under Section 27 of the Equality Act 2010.
If you read these various parts of legislation, you will understand the different types of discrimination. Most importantly, you will understand what you need to prove in order to win such a claim.
You will reduce the need for further clarification of your claim later down the line, and also show the other side and tribunal judge that you have done your homework ahead of submitting your claim, by being very conscious of the type of discrimination that you are alleging (and what you need to prove it) in the details contained within your claim form.
What should I do once I have completed my claim form?
Once you have completed your form you should review it and check:
- It is all factually correct
- Nothing material is missing
- It is in chronological order
- All relevant dates are included
- There are no spelling or grammatical errors
You want to be putting your best foot forward at this stage, demonstrating that you have put both time and care into putting together your claim form.
After you have submitted it, you should receive an emailed receipt confirming your claim has been issued.
This is an important document as it is relevant to the time limitations of making a claim to Employment Tribunal.
You need to be very aware of the time limitations that apply to advancing a claim. You only have 3 months less 1 day to commence the legal process. This is from the date of the matter to which your claim relates.
Feel free to use our handy time limitation date calculator.
The first thing your employer’s solicitor will do is analyse the key dates relating to your claim. For example, the date:
- Of your dismissal
- You registered your case with ACAS Early Conciliation
- ACAS issued your certificate
- When you then issued your claim form
If there is any prospect of your claim being out of time, your employer’s solicitor will raise this as a defence to your claim.
What happens after I have submitted my ET1 Claim Form?
After you have submitted your claim form, your employer has 28 days to defend it.
They will do this by way of an ET3 form. In due course, the tribunal will send you a copy of this defence so that you can review it.
If you require legal representation
Our team of highly experienced employment law solicitors are more than happy to consider representing you. Where we believe you have a viable case, we may be able to assist you on a no win no fee basis. Of course, if we represent you, your appointed solicitor can submit your claim form for you.
If you prefer, we can also help you prepare for specific parts of the tribunal process on a fixed fee basis. To prepare or amend an ET1 Claim Form, we would charge between £500 – £1,000 + VAT (depending upon the complexity of your case).
Our default position is to assume that our clients want their cases run on a no win no fee basis. Therefore, we automatically review them from this point of view. Please view our no win no fee policy for more information.
To obtain an initial assessment of your case, please call one of our approachable team today on 0800 756 6605 or 020 3923 4777. Alternatively, you can submit your details via our quick online enquiry form. We will then respond to you via phone, email or text within 48 hours of receiving your enquiry.