ET1 form

ET 1 Form

What it is an ET 1 Form?

An ET 1 Form is used by an employee after his or her employment has been terminated to file a claim in the Employment Tribunal. It starts the tribunal proceedings in employment-related disputes.

How to present the form?

You need to complete an ET 1 Form and present it to the local office of the tribunal (which office is local depends where your former place of work was located). The forms can be downloaded from the tribunals’ website and delivered in person, by post (it is the time of its arrival at the office not the time of posting it that counts for the time limit), fax or email.

What information does it require?

The form is relatively straightforward but quite detailed and requires the following information:

  • Claimant’s (person bringing the claim) details: name and address
  • Respondent’s (person who the claim is directed at: the employer, public body or trade union) details: name and address
  • Details of the claimant’s employment (such as start and finish date)
  • Details of claimant’s earnings and benefits (number of hours worked a week, basic pay details, any deductions as well as any benefits received: health insurance, company car etc.)
  • Grounds of complaint (unfair dismissal, breach of contract, discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, sexual orientation, religion, belief, age or disability etc.)
  • Remedy the claimant is asking for (this item is optional if the claimant is unsure as to what he or she would like to receive)

The remedies include:

  • Compensation
  • Re-instatement (Giving an employee their previous position back) or
  • Re-engagement (Getting another position with the same employer).

Time limits to bring the claim

The form needs to be presented to the employment tribunal within strict time limits; if they are exceeded and the claim is late the tribunal does not have a duty to consider it. In certain circumstances the tribunal will consider the reasons why the claim was late and may grant an extension.

The time limits are shorter than for bringing a claim to the court (usually 6 years). Normally the claim needs to be brought within 3 months from the end of employment or the last time the issue complained of happened. If ‘reasonably practicable’ the tribunal can grant a longer time to bring the claim. The 3 months limit applies to claims for unfair dismissal, discrimination and breach of contract.

Claims for redundancy payments and equal pay have got a longer time limit of 6 months counted from the termination of the employment. (Note that equal pay claim can be brought whilst employed). If the claim is late the tribunal might consider it in restricted circumstances relating to the reasons why the claim was late.

What happens next?

Accepting the form

After submitting the form to the employment tribunal it will be examined by the office of the tribunal to determine if it can be accepted. If the office does not consider that the form should be accepted it must refer it to the employment judge (a member of the employment tribunal’s panel who is a qualified solicitor or barrister with at least 7 years of legal experience) to make the final decision. The grounds to refuse the form are as follows:

  • It is not made on the right form (ET 1 Form being the correct one)
  • It does not include relevant information (such as the reasons to bring the claim)
  • The tribunal has no jurisdiction to consider the matter

If the form is accepted a copy of it will be sent to the respondent to consider and reply to it. The claimant will receive a letter confirming the acceptance of his or her form and a booklet explaining the next stages of the process.


The respondent has to respond within 28 days from receiving the copy of ET 1 form by completing an ET 3 form. If the respondent does not present the response within the 28 days and does not apply for extension of time, they risk a judgment in default being given against them.

For help with making a claim in the employment tribunal, Darlingtons are employment law experts who can help.