Earlier this month, updated versions of the employment tribunal claim form (ET1) and response form (ET3) were issued. These forms are used to bring, or respond to, a claim in the employment tribunal.
The majority of changes are relatively simple:
- The term “Other” has been added as an alternative title to “Mr, Mrs, Miss or Ms”.
- The term “prefer not to say” has been added as an option under the claimant’s sex.
- Preferred method of contact have been updated to include email or post only, removing ‘fax’ (although we question how many claimants have ticked that box in recent years!).
- New tick boxes have been included for parties to indicate whether they can take part in phone or video hearings. Interestingly, if a claimant says they can take part in neither they will need to explain why, whereas there is no such requirement for the respondent. as well as a box for providing explanations if consent is not given.
- Examples of the type of reasonable adjustments that may be made, to parties who indicate that they may need support during proceedings, are now given.
- Company respondents will now be able to indicate what type of company they are. This may provide some immediate information to the tribunal on the type or work carried out at an organisation.
Perhaps the ‘biggest’ change is that the claim form now includes whistleblowing as a specific type of claim. Claimant’s will be able to easily indicate that they are making a whistleblowing claim alongside any other claim (e.g. unfair dismissal) and enable them to specify the relevant regulator they wish a copy of their form to be sent to. Previously, the claim form included a separate box for claimants to confirm that they wished a copy of their claim form to be sent to a relevant regulator by tribunal staff. This was often the indicator that the Claimant wished to pursue a whistleblowing claim. Whilst there is a possibility that making the option of bringing a whistleblowing claim more obvious (by it now being included in the list of claims to choose from), it may help avoid the need for preliminary hearings or additional work between parties to establish whether or not a whistleblowing claim is being contested.
For more information or advice on this or any other Employment Law & HR issue, please get in touch with our Employment Law Associate & Solicitor, Laura Robinson on 0115 9 100 296, or send her an email.
Posted on August 17, 2023