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Understanding Employment Tribunal fees: what you need to know!

Published 16 December 2013

As of July 2013 employees will need to pay to take their case to an employment tribunal. The highly contentious move by the Coalition government has come into force despite opposition from trade unions, legal professionals, workers rights campaigners and even human rights campaigners. The move has sparked outrage among many who have stated that such a policy will block access to justice to many. The UK Coalition Government however, state that only 1 in 4 claims are successful and that the new policy will deter frivolous claims and save the tax payer money.

So what has changed and how will it affect you?

In an attempt to simplify the process, tribunal claims have been broken up into 2 types:

'Type A' claims involve straightforward and simple claims; as such they are subject to lower fees. These include claims about:

  • unpaid wages;
  • payment in lieu of notice;
  • redundancy payments; and
  • your employer refusing you time off to go to antenatal classes.

‘Type B’ claims involve more complicated issues, so the fee you pay will be higher. These types of claim tend to be those involving:

  • unfair dismissal;
  • equal-pay claims;
  • discrimination complaints;
  • claims under the Public Information Disclosure Act (sometimes referred to as
  • ‘whistleblowing’).

Cost and fees

The costs for bringing a case to a tribunal have also been broken up into 2 stages and affect both the claimant and the respondent.

Claimant’s costs:

To bring a claim to the tribunal the claimant will have to pay a fee of £160 for ‘Type A’ claims and £250 for ‘Type B’ claims. The payment must be made at the time of submitting the claim in order for the claim to be reviewed.

If a settlement can not be agreed at the point of submission and the claim has to be escalated to a hearing, there will be a further fee of £250 for ‘Type A’ claims and a fee of £950 for ‘Type B’ claims.

Respondent’s costs:

In some circumstances the tribunal may ask the respondent to pay certain fees. Here is an example of some of the fees a respondent may have to pay:

  • Employer’s contract claim £160,
  • Application to set aside a default judgement £100,
  • Application to dismiss following settlement £60,
  • Application to reconsider a decision following a final hearing £100 for type A & £350 for type B,
  • Fee for judicial mediation £600.

Can the fees be claimed back from either side?

If asked, the Judge has the power to order the loosing side to pay any fees incurred by the winning side; be they the claimant or the respondent. The Judge will decide if it’s appropriate for the winning side to be compensated for any fees incurred.

Appeal fees:

If the claimant wishes to appeal the tribunal’s decision they will need to pay an extra fee of £100 for ‘Type A’ claims and £350 for ‘Type B’ claims.

Is anyone exempt from paying the fees or able to apply for a reduced rate?

A system of fee waivers and reductions, known as the remission system, is available which allows those who cannot afford fees to access to tribunal services free of charge or at a reduced rate. Claimants who are in receivership of certain benefits, such as JSA etc, or who are on a very low income are able to have the fees for an employment tribunal wavered. Furthermore, claimants are able to ask for the fees to be wavered in part or in full based on their financial circumstances.

Sources & further information:

Check out our blog explaining how Employment Tribunals work out claimant compensation

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