Preparing your claim or defence in the Employment Tribunal

It has long been considered necessary to ensure, when you submit or defend a claim, that you put as much detail in as possible. This is to ensure you do not miss the opportunity to pursue a claim fully in future. This has much to do with the fact that there are strict deadlines in the Employment Tribunal which mean that if you do not include everything in the claim form it can be difficult to add in later on.

In the case of defending a claim, it was considered best practice to respond to each of the points raised in the claim in detail.

This usually results in statements of case (the claim and defence) being very long.

However, Her Honour Judge Tucker in the case of C v D [2020] UKEAT/0132/19/RN decided to give guidance on this matter, as she felt the grounds of claim, in this case, were too long. 

The guidance provided makes it clear that the grounds of claim should contain a brief statement of relevant facts and give a clear indication which facts relate to the claims being pursued. In respect of a defence, it is enough to address the main points raised in the claim and then to admit or deny the claims being pursued.

The result of the guidance means, statements of case need to be more concise, with further detail being put into witness statements, if the claim proceeds to this stage. Solicitors should also bear this in mind, as one of my colleagues received a ticking off regarding a statement of case, which it considered to be too long. However, my colleague submitted the claim, prior to the guidance being published!

The Employment Tribunal’s are of course under resourced and overwhelmed so it is not surprising that the Tribunal Judges want the parties to keep the claim form and defence succinct and to the point.

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The information contained in this blog post is provided for guidance and is a snapshot of the law at the time it is written. It is provided for your information only and should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice that it specific to your particular circumstances.

The guidance should not be relied upon in any decision making process. It is strongly recommended that you seek advice before taking action.

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