Jackie Le Poidevin, Editor-in-Chief, HR Adviser


Discover the Latest Changes to Employment Tribunal Forms

Last month, His Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) updated the ET1 and ET3 forms used to lodge and respond to employment tribunal claims. Most of the changes are simple but it’s useful to know what they are. Here, we explain what’s changed.

These are the amendments you need to be aware of:

  • ‘Other’ has been added as an alternative title to Mr, Mrs etc.
  • ‘Prefer not to say’ has been added as an option under the claimant’s sex.
  • Separate tick boxes have been included for the parties to indicate whether they can take part in phone or video hearings. Previously, a single box covered consent for both types of hearings. If a claimant doesn’t consent to either option, they will need to explain why but there’s no such requirement for employers.
  • The forms give examples of reasonable adjustments that may be available if anyone in your party has a physical, mental or learning disability or health condition that requires support. The examples given are the provision of documents in alternative formats, colours and fonts, help with communicating, sight, hearing, speaking or interpretation, or access and mobility support if a hearing takes place in person.
  • Whistleblowing has been added to the list of claims for claimants to choose from.
  • ‘Fax’ has been removed as a preferred method of contact, leaving email and post as the remaining options.
  • Employers can now indicate what type of company they are. This will allow you to provide some immediate information to the tribunal on the type of work you carry out.
  • Employers are now asked to indicate whether they wish to contest all or part of the claim.
  • Employers can choose to provide annual figures for a claimant’s pay before tax and normal take-home pay, rather than weekly or monthly figures.

What Does this Mean for You?

The most significant change is the inclusion of whistleblowing as a claim. The old ET1 form only had a box for claimants to ask tribunal staff to send a copy of their claim form to a relevant regulator. This indirectly indicated that they were intending to bring a whistleblowing claim.

Specifically referring to whistleblowing might increase the likelihood of claimants bringing such claims. On the other hand, having this information upfront may reduce the need for preliminary hearings or you having to clarify with the claimant whether they’re pursuing a whistleblowing claim.

The other changes are more minor and have mainly been introduced to reflect today’s society.

Should you need to respond to an employment tribunal claim, you should now use the new form. It’s possible using an older version could make your response invalid. You can download the correct version of the ET3 form for free from:


    Emma Lampka, Editorial Board Member, Health & Safety Adviser and Risk Assessment & Compliance


    6 Steps to Prevent People from Being Struck by Falling Objects

    According to The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), being struck by a falling object accounts for one third of the 10% of major injuries reported to the HSE within the food and drink industries and 13% of the major injuries in storage and warehousing. And this isn’t just a hazard for workers, members of the public may be at risk too. It is essential that workplace safety is managed well in order to prevent objects falling from height and the injuries they cause. We offer 6 steps you can take to keep people safe from being struck by falling objects.

    Being hit by a falling object can cause serious and sometimes fatal injuries.  Even if a small object hits you, it may have built up enough speed on the way down to cause serious suffering. To keep your workers and your business safe, your risk assessment should include assessing the risk of falling objects, especially as these “struck by” injuries are common and are likely to occur almost anywhere.

    What You Can Do About it

     To keep your team members and the public safe, you can implement some key preventative steps within your organisation. Employers have a legal duty under the Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations 1992 to ensure that their workplace is safe for workers, visitors, contractors and members of the public to use.

    Follow these 6 Steps to Prevent Injuries by Falling Objects

    1. Complete a workplace risk assessment to identify any areas within the workplace where items are stored at height or where work is being carried out at height. The risk assessment should also assess that storage units or racking are in good condition to ensure that items do not fall from height.
    1. Implement risk control measures. Ensure items stored above ground level (e.g. on storage shelving) are stable and will not fall easily if disturbed. Store heavier items on or near the ground and lighter items higher up.
    1. When stacking and storing items, pay attention to the methods of stacking, handling and movement of goods to prevent objects from falling. Ensure that any tall, self-standing objects (e.g. gas cylinders) or objects leaning against walls are either stable if knocked, or secured.
    1. Working at height should be considered and procedures should be in place to ensure items are secured in placeg. tying loose items together and/or keeping them in containers. You should also consider installing catch platforms below work areas to catch any falling materials or tools as well as installing overhead protection structures e.g. shelters, to protect people working under them. In addition to this, you should demarcate areas where there is a risk of being struck by falling objects and ensure people wear suitable PPE, such as safety helmet.
    1. Ensure Racking is suitable for the items and weight you are storing upon them. The floors they are mounted on should also be assessed to ensure they are capable of bearing the general overall load to which they may be subjected to. Ensure your racking is built and designed by a Storage Equipment Manufactures Association (SEMA) qualified supplier and that it clearly identifies the maximum safe working load and is regularly inspected (based on the risk assessment) by a person responsible for racking safety (PRRS). The PRRS should have the relevant training and competence to undertake the visual inspection and report any issues in a timely manner.
    1. Train all employees in basic health and safety adequate to the hazards associated with their work and within their workplace, along with the precautions to take. You should never assume that any contractors working on your site are competent so always be sure to check their qualifications, knowledge and experience.


      Sarah Bradford, Editor-in-Chief, Pay & Benefits Adviser

      Policy Changes for Reporting Informally Payrolled Benefits

      Employers can opt to deal with benefits in kind through their payroll rather than reporting the benefit to HMRC after the end of the tax year. This is known as ‘payrolling’. Since P11Ds must now be filed online, there has been a change in how HMRC require you to report informal payrolling. In the August 2023 issue of their Employer Bulletin publication, HMRC have outlined the changes. We break this down into simple terms.

      Nature of Payrolling

      Under payrolling, the taxable value of the benefit in kind, which will normally be the cash equivalent value, is treated like extra salary which is paid to the employee in instalments throughout the tax year on the employee’s normal pay days. For example, if an employer opts to payroll a company car with a cash equivalent value of £4,800 and the employee is paid monthly, the employee would be treated for payroll purposes as if they had received additional pay of £400 per month. The notional pay in respect of the company car benefit is added to the employee’s gross pay for PAYE purposes only. The employee’s tax is worked out on their total pay (including that in respect of the car benefit) and deducted from their cash pay.

      As most benefits in kind are liable to Class 1A National Insurance contributions rather than Class 1, the payrolled benefit does not need to be included in gross pay for National Insurance purposes.

      Employers who want to payroll benefits must register to do so before the start of the tax year. HMRC do not accept in-year requests to formally payroll benefits in kind. Where an employer is formally payrolling benefits in kind, payrolled benefits do not need to be reported to HMRC on the employee’s P11D. However, the employer must still file a P11D(b) and include any payrolled benefits when calculating their Class 1A National Insurance liability.

      Informal Payrolling

      HMRC no longer accept paper P11Ds and all P11Ds must now be filed online. This has led to a change of policy regarding how benefits which are informally payrolled are reported to HMRC.

      HMRC confirmed that they will only require a P11D from employers with an informal payrolling agreement for 2022/23 where the employer started to payroll mid-year. For example, if the employer requested an informal arrangement to payroll benefits in kind on 1 June 2022, HMRC will need a P11D to cover the period from 6 April 2022 to 1 June 2022. However, from 2 June 2022 onwards, if the employer has payrolled the benefit, the P11D does not need to reflect the provision of that benefit for the period from 2 June 2022 to 5 April 2023 as the tax due on the benefit for that period would have been collected through the payroll. Tax due on benefits provided in the period from 6 April 2022 to 1 June 2022 will be collected via an adjustment to the employee’s tax code.

      Employers should tell HMRC about the payrolled benefits using the online form PAYE notification of payrolled benefits so HMRC know that those on the P11D are benefits provided in the period before the employer started to payroll. As the P11D deadline for 2022/23 of 6 July 2023 has now passed, employers who still need to file P11Ds in respect of benefits provided prior to the start of an informal payrolling arrangement should do so without delay.