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What is an ET1 Form? A Comprehensive Guide

Updated: Dec 29, 2023


The ET1 Form is a critical document in the United Kingdom's employment law landscape. It serves as the initial step for employees who wish to lodge a formal complaint against their employer with the Employment Tribunal. While the term "ET1 Form" may sound technical, it's essential for both employers and employees to understand its significance, how to fill it out, and the subsequent processes it triggers. This article aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the ET1 Form, focusing on aspects not commonly discussed in standard government documents.


In short, an ET1 form is the form used to start a claim with an employment tribunal in the UK. The form is designed to provide the tribunal with all the information it needs to make a decision on your case. The ET1 form asks for information about you and your employer, the reasons for your claim, and the remedies you're seeking. You'll need to provide as much detail as possible to support your claim, including evidence to back up your allegations.


If you're planning to make a claim to an employment tribunal in the UK, you'll need to fill out an ET1 form. An ET1 form is the official form used to start a claim against an employer or former employer in the UK, and it's an important document that sets out the details of your claim. An ET1 form is a document in which an applicant must establish the basis of their claim against an employer. This can involve a range of different labor disputes, including issues of pay, dismissal, or discrimination.


In this article, we'll take a closer look at what an ET1 form is, what information it requires, and what you can expect from the process of making a claim to an employment tribunal.


What is an ET1 Form?

The Basics: What is an ET1 Form?

An ET1 Form is essentially a claim form that an employee or worker fills out to initiate a legal claim against their employer. This form is submitted to the Employment Tribunal, an independent judicial body in the UK that resolves disputes between employers and employees. The form is a way to formalize grievances and is the starting point for any Employment Tribunal case.


Importance of the ET1 Form

The ET1 Form is not just a piece of paper; it's a crucial legal document. It sets the stage for the entire tribunal process, outlining the nature of the claim, the parties involved, and the type of resolution sought. Filling out this form correctly is vital as errors can lead to delays or even dismissal of the case.


What is an Employment Tribunal?

An employment tribunal is a legal body in the UK that resolves disputes between employers and employees. The tribunal is designed to be a fair and impartial forum for resolving employment-related disputes, and it has the power to make legally binding decisions.


Employment tribunals hear a range of cases, including claims for unfair dismissal, discrimination, and breach of contract. If you believe that you've been treated unfairly by your employer, an employment tribunal can provide a way for you to seek redress.


What Information is Required on an ET1 Form?


To complete an ET1 form, you'll need to provide the following information:


  • Your personal details: This includes your name, address, phone number, and email address.

  • Your employer's details: This includes your employer's name, address, and phone number.

  • The nature of your claim: You'll need to describe the nature of your claim, including the specific allegations you're making against your employer.

  • The basis of your claim: You'll need to explain the legal basis for your claim, such as discrimination or breach of contract.

  • The remedies you're seeking: You'll need to specify what you're seeking from the tribunal, such as compensation or reinstatement.

  • Details of any witnesses or evidence: You'll need to provide details of any witnesses who can support your claim, as well as any other evidence that you have.


It's important to provide as much detail as possible on your ET1 form to ensure that your claim is taken seriously by the tribunal. You should also provide any supporting evidence that you have, such as emails or documents that back up your claims.


How to Complete Form ET1 - A Step by Step Guide


Section 1: Your Details

1.1 Title: Choose Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms, or Other.

1.2 First Name: Enter your first name(s).

1.3 Surname or Family Name: Provide your surname or family name.

1.4 Date of Birth: Enter your date of birth.

1.5 Sex: Indicate your sex - Male, Female, or Prefer not to say.

1.6 Address: Provide your full address including the postcode.

1.7 Phone Number: Enter a contact number where you can be reached during the day. 1.8 Mobile Number: If different, provide your mobile number.

1.9 Contact Preference: Indicate your preferred contact method - Email or Post.

1.10 Email Address: Provide your email address.

1.11 Video and Phone Hearings: State if you can participate in video or phone hearings.


Section 2: Respondent’s Details

2.1 Employer/Organization Name: Name of the employer or organization against whom you are making a claim.

2.2 Address: Provide the address of the employer or organization.

2.3 Acas Early Conciliation Certificate Number: Indicate whether you have this number and provide it if yes.


Section 3: Multiple Cases

3.1 Similar Claims: Indicate if your claim is one among many against the same employer under similar circumstances.


Section 4: Cases Not Involving Your Employer

4.1 Respondent Relationship: State whether you worked for the respondent.


Section 5: Employment Details

5.1 Employment Start and End Dates: Provide the start date of your employment, and if applicable, the end date.

5.2 Job Title: Describe the job you do or did.


Section 6: Earnings and Benefits

6.1 Work Hours: Indicate the average hours you worked each week.

6.2 Pay: State your pay before tax and normal take-home pay.

6.3 Notice Period: If your employment ended, state whether you worked or were paid for a notice period.

6.4 Pension Scheme: Indicate if you were part of your employer’s pension scheme.

6.5 Other Benefits: List any other benefits received from the employer.


Section 7: Post-Employment

7.1 New Employment: State if you have found a new job post-employment.

7.2 Start Date and Earnings: Provide the start date and earnings of your new job.


Section 8: Type and Details of Claim

8.1 Claim Type: Specify the type of claim, e.g., unfair dismissal, discrimination, whistleblowing, redundancy, unpaid wages, etc.

8.2 Claim Details: Describe the background and details of your claim.


Section 9: Desired Outcome

9.1 Claim Outcome: Indicate what you seek if your claim is successful, such as reinstatement, compensation, etc.

9.2 Compensation Details: Provide details and calculations of the compensation you are seeking.


Section 10: Whistleblowing Cases

10.1 Information to Regulators: State if you want your whistleblowing claim details sent to a relevant regulator.


Section 11: Your Representative

11.1-11.8 Representative Details: Provide the details of your representative, if you have one, including their contact information and preferred communication method.


Section 12: Disability

12.1 Disability Disclosure: Indicate if you have a disability and require support during your case, specifying the type of assistance needed.


Section 13: Additional Respondents

13.1 Additional Respondent Details: Provide details of additional respondents if there are more than three.


Section 14: Additional Information

14.1 Additional Claim Information: Use this section to provide any additional information relevant to your claim.


In completing Form ET1, it's crucial to provide accurate and detailed information in each section to support your claim effectively. The specific answers will vary depending on your individual circumstances and the nature of your claim. For more detailed guidance, you may consult legal experts or refer to employment law resources.


Acas Early Conciliation Certificate

Before filling out an ET1 Form, nearly everyone should have an Acas early conciliation certificate number. Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) is an organization that provides free and impartial advice to employers and employees. The certificate number is a prerequisite for proceeding with the tribunal claim.


Special Circumstances

The form also includes sections for multiple cases, where your claim might be one among several against the same employer. It also allows for the inclusion of additional respondents, beyond the primary employer, who might be part of the claim.


What Happens When You Submit an ET1?

Once you've submitted your ET1 form, the tribunal will send a copy of the form to your employer. Your employer will then have 28 days to respond to your claim by submitting an ET3 form. The ET3 form is the employer's response to your claim and sets out their position on the allegations you've made.



After the employer has responded, the tribunal will set a date for a preliminary hearing. The purpose of the preliminary hearing is to clarify the issues in dispute and to identify the evidence that will be presented at the full hearing. The full hearing is usually held within three to six months of the preliminary hearing. At the full hearing, both parties will present their evidence and arguments to the tribunal, and the tribunal will make a decision on the case.


How Long Do I Have to Submit an ET1?

Depending on the nature of the complaint, there are time limits for filing lawsuits in court. For example, the ET1 for a wrongful dismissal request must normally be filed within 3 months minus 1 day from the date of termination of employment. Given the importance of the ET1, we encourage you to base your case on a professionally designed ET1 form.


Filling out your ET1 form is undoubtedly stressful. In addition, you have to meet strict deadlines. As a general rule, you have 3 months less than 1 day from the date of the disputed act or the last date of employment to file a complaint with the labor court. ACAS has the authority to freeze the time limit during an early arbitration. Calculating deadlines can be complicated and depends on your specific circumstances. You should be careful as it is very unlikely that you will be able to claim if the ET1 is not received on time.


When Completing the ET1 form, You Must Ensure the Following:

Provide a clear but detailed list of events - Keep to the point as much as possible, but make sure you convey all the important details.

Keep Things Orderly - When listing events, be sure to keep them in chronological order.

● Number the paragraphs - Many wouldn't consider this, but this will make it easier to find and refer to parts of your complaints in the future.

Write down any significant events in your dispute – It can be difficult to add in the future, so write down any events that you want to rely on.

Are you naming the defendant correctly – do you have the correct legal title for the defendant and does it match the information you provided to ACAS during the Early Arbitration?


The Intricacies of Filling Out the ET1 Form

Filling out the ET1 Form is a task that requires meticulous attention to detail. While the form itself is comprehensive, it's easy to overlook certain aspects that could be crucial for your case. For example, the section that allows you to elaborate on the events leading up to the claim is not just a narrative space. It's an opportunity to present your case in a compelling manner, highlighting key incidents and evidence that support your claim.


Common Mistakes to Avoid

When filling out the ET1 Form, there are several pitfalls you should steer clear of:

  • Vagueness: Being too vague about the nature of your claim can lead to misunderstandings later on.

  • Omissions: Leaving out key details or evidence can weaken your case.

  • Incorrect Information: Any discrepancies in the information provided can lead to delays or even dismissal of your claim.


Time Constraints and Deadlines

One of the most critical aspects of the ET1 Form is the timing. Typically, you have three months less one day from the date of the incident you're complaining about to submit the form. Missing this deadline could mean that you lose the opportunity to make your claim, regardless of its validity.


The Role of Legal Advice

While the ET1 Form is designed to be user-friendly, the complexities of employment law make it advisable to seek legal advice before submission. Legal experts can guide you through the nuances of your specific case, helping you fill out the form in a way that maximizes your chances of success.


After Submission: What to Expect

Once the ET1 Form is submitted and accepted, the Employment Tribunal will send a copy to your employer, who will then have 28 days to respond. This response is known as the ET3 Form. Failure of the employer to respond within this timeframe can result in a default judgment in favor of the employee.


The Tribunal Hearing

After the exchange of forms and preliminary procedures, a hearing date will be set. This is where both parties present their cases, and a panel of judges makes a decision based on the evidence and arguments provided.


Final Thoughts

The ET1 Form is more than just a bureaucratic requirement; it's the cornerstone of the Employment Tribunal process in the UK. From the moment you decide to fill it out to the final hearing, each step is crucial in determining the outcome of your employment dispute. Being informed, avoiding common mistakes, and understanding the timeline can make a significant difference in your pursuit of workplace justice.


What to Do Next?

If you are considering filing your own claim, we strongly recommend that you seek legal advice prior to filing to ensure you are able to claim the maximum amount of compensation possible.


We can offer a fixed fee for the inspection of an ET1 or ET3 so please contact us at 07985689912 if you would like to discuss this and the costs involved in more detail.

If you're planning to make a claim to an employment tribunal in the UK, an ET1 form is an essential document that sets out the details of your claim.


How a Tax Accountant Can Help You with the ET1 Form?


How a Tax Accountant Can Help You with the ET1 Form?

When you think of an ET1 Form, the first professional that comes to mind is likely an employment lawyer, not a tax accountant. However, you'd be surprised to learn how a tax accountant can play a pivotal role in helping you navigate the complexities of the ET1 Form and the Employment Tribunal process. While they may not replace the expertise of an employment lawyer, their skills can complement legal advice in various ways.


Financial Documentation and Evidence

One of the most crucial aspects of any employment dispute is the financial documentation that supports your claim. Whether it's unfair dismissal, wage disputes, or discrimination, financial evidence often becomes the linchpin of your case. A tax accountant can help you gather, organize, and present this financial data in a manner that strengthens your claim. They can sift through payslips, tax returns, and other financial documents to pinpoint discrepancies or irregularities that may substantiate your case.


Calculating Losses and Claims

If you're claiming financial loss due to unfair dismissal or any other employment issue, calculating the exact amount can be complicated. A tax accountant can help you determine the financial impact, taking into account various factors like lost wages, benefits, and even potential future earnings. This precise calculation can be invaluable when filling out the ET1 Form and during the tribunal hearing.


Tax Implications of Settlements

If your case reaches a settlement, there are often tax implications that you need to consider. A lump sum payment may seem attractive, but without proper tax planning, you could end up losing a significant portion to taxes. A tax accountant can guide you through the tax implications of different types of settlements, helping you make an informed decision.


Expert Testimony

In some cases, the Employment Tribunal may require expert financial testimony to understand the nuances of your claim better. A tax accountant can serve as an expert witness, providing credible and professional insights into the financial aspects of your case. Their testimony can lend weight to your claim, especially when financial misconduct or complicated calculations are involved.


Streamlining the Process

The ET1 Form is a comprehensive document that requires meticulous attention to detail. A tax accountant can help streamline the process by ensuring that all financial data is accurate and well-organized. This not only saves you time but also minimizes the risk of errors that could delay or jeopardize your claim.


Financial Planning for the Future

Win or lose, an employment dispute can have long-term financial implications. A tax accountant can help you plan for various outcomes, advising you on how to manage your finances during and after the tribunal process. Whether it's budgeting for legal fees or planning for a potential loss of income, a tax accountant can provide practical financial strategies.



While a tax accountant may not be the first professional you think of when dealing with an ET1 Form, their expertise can be invaluable. From gathering financial evidence to calculating losses and understanding tax implications, a tax accountant can provide a multi-faceted approach to strengthen your employment tribunal claim. So, the next time you find yourself reaching for an ET1 Form, consider consulting a tax accountant alongside your employment lawyer for a well-rounded, robust strategy.


20 Most Important FAQs

1. Q: Can I submit Form ET1 online?

A: Yes, Form ET1 can be submitted online through the UK government's employment tribunal website.


2. Q: Is there a fee for submitting Form ET1?

A: As of my last update, there is no fee for submitting Form ET1.


3. Q: Can I withdraw my ET1 claim after submission?

A: Yes, you can withdraw your claim at any stage of the tribunal process.


4. Q: What should I do if I make a mistake on my submitted ET1 form?

A: If you make a mistake, you should inform the tribunal as soon as possible and request to amend the form.


5. Q: How confidential is the information provided in Form ET1?

A: The information in Form ET1 is generally confidential but can be disclosed to involved parties, like your employer.


6. Q: What happens if I miss the deadline to submit Form ET1?

A: If you miss the deadline, your case may not be considered, except in very exceptional circumstances.


7. Q: Can I submit additional evidence after filing Form ET1?

A: Yes, you can submit additional evidence before the tribunal hearing, but it's better to include all relevant information in the initial submission.


8. Q: How detailed should the description of the claim be in Form ET1?

A: The description should be detailed enough to clearly explain the nature of your claim and the events leading to it.


9. Q: Is legal representation required for submitting Form ET1?

A: No, you can submit Form ET1 without legal representation, but seeking legal advice is recommended.


10. Q: How do I know if my ET1 form has been successfully submitted?

A: You will receive a confirmation, usually via email, upon the successful submission of your ET1 form.


11. Q: Can I file Form ET1 against multiple employers?

A: Yes, you can file claims against multiple employers if they are related to the same issue.


12. Q: What if my employer settles the dispute after I submit Form ET1?

A: If a settlement is reached, you can inform the tribunal to discontinue the case.


13. Q: Are there any restrictions on what I can claim in Form ET1?

A: Your claims should be relevant to employment law issues such as unfair dismissal, discrimination, wage disputes, etc.


14. Q: How long does the tribunal process take after submitting Form ET1?

A: The duration varies, but it can take several months from submission to the final hearing.


15. Q: Can I amend my claim after the ET1 form has been submitted?

A: Amendments are possible, but they need to be approved by the tribunal and may not be allowed if they significantly change the nature of the claim.


16. Q: What happens if my employer doesn't respond to my ET1 claim?

A: If the employer fails to respond, the tribunal may make a judgment in your favor by default.


17. Q: Can I claim compensation for emotional distress in Form ET1?

A: Yes, you can claim compensation for emotional distress if it's related to the employment issue.


18. Q: Is it possible to submit Form ET1 if I'm no longer employed by the respondent? A: Yes, you can submit a claim against a former employer.


19. Q: What role does ACAS play in the ET1 process?

A: ACAS provides early conciliation services, which are a prerequisite for most tribunal claims.


20. Q: How specific should the compensation amount be in Form ET1?

A: Be as specific as possible, but understand that the final amount, if awarded, is determined by the tribunal.

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