New ET1 (claim) and ET3 (response) forms have been launched, as well as a video produced by HMCTS to assist users to register for the new MyHMCTS portal and upload an ET3 using that portal. MyHMCTS is designed to be an online platform that will enable parties to manage their cases digitally, such as by the electronic uploading of documents rather than email, cloud systems or post.
The new ET1 and ET3 forms do not make major changes. Reflecting modern society, they add ‘other’ as an alternative title rather than simply Mr, Mrs etc and add an option of ‘prefer not to say’ for the Claimant’s sex. Reflecting the modern society of 15 or so years ago, ‘fax’ has been removed as a contact option.
The most material change is that ‘whistleblowing’ has been added as a type of claim for Claimants to tick, which hopefully will remove some of the ambiguity aired at preliminary hearings about whether such claims were made. Interestingly, ‘whistleblowing’ is not a term from statute but clearly such language is more user friendly than ‘protected interest disclosure’.
A significant alteration has been made to the section regarding video and phone hearings. Previously, a single tick box covered consent for both types of hearings. With the new form, these options are now presented separately, and claimants are required to provide an explanation on the ET1 form if they do not consent to video/phone hearings.
The updated ET3 form introduces a query regarding the type of company the respondent (employer) is. This refinement aims to enhance clarity and assist in accurate categorisation during the case management process.
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