Doncaster Office
Sheffield Office

What is an ET1 form and why is it important?

05 May 2021
ET1 Documentation

What is an ET1 form and why is it important?

When making a claim to the Employment Tribunal, there are multiple steps in which must be followed. 

Before you can make a claim to the Employment Tribunal, you must have obtained the ACAS certificate. More information on Early Conciliation and ACAS can be found here: What is Early Conciliation in relation to an Employment Tribunal?


An ET1 form is a document in which you (the claimant) has to complete. This form can be found on GOV.UK.

The ET1 is a document in which all claimants have to fill out in order to make a valid legal claim to the Employment Tribunal, this is the document that outlines everything within your dispute. Therefore this is one of the crucial steps in successfully bringing a claim. The ET1 is the start of major litigation and the document will be referred to throughout the case. We advise that you seek specialist help when completing the ET1 form as a failure to include the correct information in the ET1 could prevent a claim, or parts of a claim, from proceeding.


When completing the ET1 form you must make sure to:

  • Give a clear but detailed list of events – Keep to the point as much as possible, but make sure you are getting all vital details across.
  • Keep things in order – When listing events, make sure you keep them in chronological order.
  • Number the paragraphs – Many would not consider this, however, this will make it easier to find and to refer to parts of your complaints in the future.
  • Write all key events within your dispute – It can be difficult to add something in the future, so write down all of the events you wish to rely upon.
  • Name the respondent correctly – have you got the correct legal title for the respondent and does this match the information that you provided to ACAS during Early Conciliation?


Given the importance of the ET1, we recommend that you build your case on a professionally drafted ET1 form.

The process of completing your ET1 form is undoubtedly stressful. In addition to the above, you must comply with the strict time limits. The general rule is that you have 3 months less than 1 day from the date of the act you are complaining of, or the last date of the employment to make a claim to the Employment Tribunal. ACAS have the power to freeze the time limit during early conciliation. Calculating time limits can be complicated and are dependent on your specific circumstances. You should act with caution as if the ET1 is not received in time, it is very unlikely that you will be able to pursue your claims.


So what happens next?

When your ET1 form has been submitted, the employment tribunal will copy your ET1 claim form and send it to the respondent (your employer) to see if they wish to defend the claims. 

If your employer wishes to respond, they must submit an ET3 form.

For more information on ET1s, contact our Employment Team on 01302 341414.