Employment Tribunal

Response to 'Notice of an Application' and 'Notice of Appearance by Respondent'


From time to time departments may be named as respondent to an application made to an Employment Tribunal by an employee, ex-employee, or applicant for employment.

When this occurs, the department will receive from the Regional Office of Employment Tribunals form ET3.

Whenever a department receives this form, the appropriate HR Business Partner should be consulted immediately. Respondents are normally allowed only 28 days in which to respond.  Failing to meet the deadline  may debar the University from taking any further part in the proceedings of the Tribunal - i.e. the University might effectively lose the right to defend the case in court.

Within the 28 day period the applicant's claim has to be thoroughly investigated, the relevant statutory provisions checked, the facts of the case established, and the approach to defending the case decided.

Valuable time may be lost if those who receive the ET form in the first instance do not appreciate the need to act quickly. Departments therefore should ensure that those members of staff in the department who might be the first to receive form ET3 know of the need to refer the matter quickly to the Head of Department, or equivalent. The form should then be conveyed directly to the appropriate HR Business Partner in Personnel Services by hand and without delay.