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Defending a claim in the Employment Tribunal - heads up on October changes!

View profile for Chris Piggott
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On 6 April 2024, a subtle but important change took effect, addressing the ways in which a defence (often referred to as a response) may be presented to the Employment Tribunals in both England, Wales and Scotland.  

Currently, anyone wishing to file a response is able to do so using a prescribed form, known as an ET3.  From Saturday 6 April the catchily titled “Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) (Amendment) Regulations 2024” came into force. These regulations provide that a response must also be submitted "in accordance with any Practice Direction".  Now that doesn’t sound like much of a change, and for now it isn’t as there then followed a new tribunal rule (known as a Practice Direction) which keeps the status quo of presenting a response online, by post, by hand or by email.  This status quo will continue until the new digital case management system is in place at all Employment Tribunal offices. That has a target date of 1 October 2024 and once in place the ability to file a response by email looks set to be removed, meaning any response filed by email after this date is likely to be rejected.

So, good habits start now, and the Tribunal Service is encouraging use of the online submission service between now and October. Of course, even better habits would be to not have to defend a claim in the first place…

Get in touch

Should you want further information on these changes, please contact Employment Partner Chris Piggott by email using or Alena You can also call on 0121 237 4306.