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Top tips for completing tribunal claim form

A case where a number incorrectly entered onto an employment tribunal claim form resulted in the claim being out of time serves to highlight key points to note when completing the ET1.

Before a claimant can issue an employment tribunal claim, they must generally first contact ACAS for the purpose of early conciliation unless the claim they are making is exempt. Once conciliation has ended, ACAS issue a certificate and the number from that certificate can then be entered into the claim form - the ET1.

In Adams v British Telecommunications Plc, the claimant completed an ET 1 with the incorrect Early Conciliation number. The Employment Tribunal informed her of this and she submitted a further claim form but it was out of time by 2 days.

Her claim was rejected on the grounds that it was reasonably practicable for the second claim to have been lodged in time. The claimant appealed. The Employment Appeal tribunal allowed the appeal. The critical factor was prejudice.

The claimant would be deprived of any avenue for making her complaint of unlawful race discrimination by reason of a minor error in the transposition of the early conciliation certificate number, which itself caused no prejudice to the respondent.

The case is a salutary reminder that

  1. ET1 forms need to be completed with great care
  2. It is never a good idea to leave issuing a claim until the last moment, precisely because slip ups may arise.

Sarah Rushton, Employment Law Partner
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Tel: 020 7539 4147

This blog is intended for general information only and should not be considered as giving advice in relation to any individual case nor be taken as applying to any particular case. No liability is accepted for any such use of the information contained.