A guide to defending an employment tribunal
This series of articles will deal with the foundations of defending an employment tribunal. They will cover: the importance of a professionally drafted ET3, what to expect at a tribunal hearing, tactics for the tribunal hearing proceedings and the importance of proper preparation for the hearing. If you would like to know more about defending employment tribunals or have any specific questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help.
2.1 Ensuring a professionally drafted ET3
You will be aware that a claim has been commenced against your company as you will first be contacted by ACAS in a process known as early conciliation. Following this you will receive an ET1 Claim issued by the relevant Employment Tribunal Office.
The ET3 form is the first stage of defending an Employment Tribunal claim. The ET3 is the employer’s response to the Employment Tribunal claim and why you reject the allegations made by the person in relation to their employment within your organisation. It is essential that this document is drafted to a required standard due to the following issues:
- Any claim not responded to in the ET3 can be criticised at the full Tribunal by an Employment Judge.
- There are legal complexities surrounding the claims which need to be understood including such things as deductions for contributory conduct and contributory fault and limitation periods.
- You need to ensure that crucial information about the claim is explicit in terms of a defence. For example, if allegations are made on a day that a certain individual is not present within the organisation or could not have carried out the act due to not being present due to attending training.
- The necessity of complying with the time limits in terms of the Employment Tribunal proceedings and the way in which the response is formatted.
It is crucial that an ET3 and Defence is drafted in a manner which is compliant with the Tribunal process because if not or if it is late being submitted, a Tribunal can refuse to accept that response as being sufficient in relation to a claim and strike a defence out from the record allowing a claim to succeed prior to a hearing.
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