Employment Tribunal Forms: The Basics
If you are making a claim at the Employment Tribunal for the first time it can all seem a bit overwhelming and at times daunting. The idea of Employment Tribunal Forms and deadlines could put anyone off. In reality there is only one form that you need to consider and that is known as the ET1. This form can be filled in by hand but by far the easiest way to do it is online. Because this form is so important we would always advise you to think about getting a representative to help complete the form. If you feel that you may have a case for tribunal and want representation to aid in the completion of the employment tribunal forms and the tribunal please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 014 8727.
The ET1 contains all the questions that you should initially need to answer put your case forward to the tribunal and to your (previous) employer. This includes stating what you are claiming for (be it unfair dismissal or discrimination etc), details about what you were earning in your job and a large section about why exactly you are making a claim to the tribunal. In this section a clear account of what happened needs to be laid out, it is best to do this with paragraphs (numbered is preferable) and in chronological order. It doesn’t need to be in legal terms however with the assistance of a legal representative such as our solicitors, they can put exactly what you want to claim in the clearest possible way. Don’t feel like you need to put in every minute detail into this statement, make sure the key details are included but further details can always be requested at a later date. It is also a common occurrence that an employee might attempt to claim for something that the tribunal is not covered to deal with (for example a stand alone bullying and harassment claim) so before you go to the hassle of completing an ET1 and discover that it isn’t accepted you might want to seek some advice to ensure that your claim is one that can be heard in the tribunals.
It is also incredibly important when thinking about making a claim at the tribunal to consider the deadline for your employment tribunal forms. These are generally very short and the tribunal are very very strict when it comes to them. The most important deadline to remember is that you only have 3 months minus one day to submit your claim.
If for example you are claiming unfair dismissal and was dismissed on the 19 August 2013; taking into account the 3 months minus one day rule; you would have up until the 18 November 2013 to submit a claim to the tribunal
If in the same example we changed the date of dismissal to 1 August 2013 you would have up until the 31 October to submit to the tribunal.
If you submit an appeal to your dismissal you must remember this does not change your date of dismissal and the deadline to submit to the tribunal will stay the same. If you are unsure of the date of your dismissal you should consider the last day you were in work as the date of dismissal because if you miss the deadline it is incredibly unlikely for a tribunal to accept the employment tribunal forms.
If you are sending the form by post you must remember that the deadline is for when the tribunal receives the ET1 not when you put it into the post box. Therefore make sure you give yourself a big enough time window to allow the post to get to where it needs to go. If you are unsure of which tribunal the form needs to be posted to you can always check the ministry of justice website. (If you are submitting via the internet you don’t need to to worry about this as it should arrive on the same day.)
Recent Legislation has also meant that to submit Employment Tribunal Forms to issue a claim you also need to pay a fee. There are two levels of fees to be paid with your standard unfair dismissal claim costing £250 to initially issue and further £950 if it goes all the way to tribunal. There are however ways to avoid paying the tribunal fees and these are known as remissions. We have collated all the information regarding these remissions here.
If you feel that you have a case and are thinking about submitting a form to the tribunal please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 014 8727. We will be able to give you free initial advice on whether we think there is a case and whether or not we are able to assist you further.