In an employment tribunal case, the primary form that is used to file the case with the tribunal is also the one that was referred to time and time again throughout the prooceedings. The judge used it as a guide to what I was stating and what I wanted and what he can apply the law to. This was true equally to the other side, their reply to my ET1 form was an ET3 form. My employers barrister or solicitor’s tactic as are many was to mentally rip the contents of my ET1 to shreds – I prepared myself for this as I knew this was how they were to prepare and action their defence. It was really hard sometimes, well often actually. I wanted to shout out, interrupt, say that’s not true – but you cant in court. Instead I learnt that I had to note what I rejected down and kept telling myself – don’t take it personally, the barrister is just doing his job. But at the same time, I showed him no pity, I remained polite and articulate and that is all you can do.
Therefore this form is of the upmost importance, get advice on how to fill it in from any legal adviser you can, get it right and get it in before the three month deadline. By that I mean generally you have only three months to make a claim to an employment tribunal. So get your advice and get your form completed – don’t forget to TAKE A COPY of everything you send to the tribunal.
Get a copy of the ET1 form here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/employment-tribunal-claim-form. You can fill the form in and submit it online or you can send it in via post. I did mine online as I wanted a record when it was received, which I received.
Points to note, if you tick the box for sexual discrimination, make sure in the summary box you state that you believed you were sexully discrimmianted against because ….. Sometimes it is not enough just to tick the box, you need to menion it in your summary box and provide an example.
If whistleblowing or victimisation are included in your claim – there is no box for that specifically, they both come under the box titled ‘other’.
You can sometimes make ammendements to this form but that is dependant on the tribunals discretion often and on timings of deadlines for changes, additions, ammendments etc. to the claim. So the best thing is to get good advice about this from the start and get it right.
Included in this is how you are pleaing your case must be reflected in this form. By that I mean you cant write one thing, in a certain way with a certain meaning on the form, then at hearings at the tribunal, present things in another light – the judge wont wear it and confusion and a lack of clarity will inevitably raise questions towards you and your claim.
I realise that my ET1 form could of been filled in a lot better in hindsight – but I had no money to get legal advice at that time. I really think in almost any of the proceedings, paying to have this filled out correctly is money well spent.