Once the tribunal has accepted the worker’s Claim, it sends a copy of the Claim form to the Respondent (the employer). The Respondent must submit a Response form to the tribunal within four weeks of receiving the Claim or request a time extension. The Respondent sends its Response on an ET3 form to the tribunal, which then forwards a copy to the Claimant. The Claimant is therefore likely to receive the employer’s response five to six weeks after sending in the Claim.
On receiving the Response form (ET3), the Claimant can write to the employer (or employer’s representative if there is one) asking for additional information and documents to be supplied, usually within 14 days. The expression ‘disclosure’ is often used to refer to this supply of documents.
The Respondent should supply all documents which are relevant to the case, whether helpful to the Respondent or helpful to the Claimant. The Claimant should ask for any specific documents which they want.
The request for ‘additional information’ is a request for answers to questions. The questions are usually linked explicitly to the paragraphs of the Respondent’s ET3 and seek clarification of the outline of the Respondent’s defence, so the Claimant is clear what the defence will be and can prepare how they wil answer it. If the employer has made vague statements in the ET3, such as “We warned x a number of times that there were problems with her performance at work”, the Claimant should ask for the date of each warning given, what was said each time and by whom.
The Claimant can also ask for more information which relates to her claim. For example, if she requested to work part-time for childcare reasons and this request has been refused, she could ask “In the past three years, how many other requests for flexible working has the employer received? Who made them and under what circumstances were they granted or not?”
The idea is not to seek detailed evidence or get involved in cross-examination or arguing the case on paper.
If the Respondent does not cooperate you will need to write to the tribunal asking for an Order that the respondent provides the additional information.
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