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employment tribunal fees

17 July 2013

The new fees regime for the employment tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) is to be introduced on 29 July 2013. Here is a quick summary of what to expect:


Claimants will be required to submit an issue fee when they submit their claim or appeal. If the claim proceeds to a full tribunal hearing, the claimant will be required to pay the subsequent hearing fee, provisionally around four-six weeks before the hearing date.

No fees will be payable in respect of a claim where the claim form was presented before 29 July. Therefore, if a claim is started just before the fees are introduced it will not attract fees at any stage. For example, the hearing fee will not be payable even though the hearing takes place after the fees have been introduced.

Level of fee

The amount of each fee will depend on the type of claim, whether it is an individual claim or whether it is a claim brought by multiple claimants.

1. Individual claimsClaims comprising of straightforward issues and of low value will be allocated to the level 1 category. This will include claims for sums due on termination of employment, such as unpaid wages, redundancy payments and payments in lieu of notice. The issue fee for level 1 claims will be £160 and the hearing fee will be £230.

Level 2 claims include those relating to unfair dismissal, discrimination, equal pay and whistleblowing. These claims will attract an issue fee of £250 and a hearing fee of £950.

Where a claimant submits more than one claim, it has been proposed that the fee payable would be that which relates to the highest level claim, rather than an aggregate of the claims.

2. Multiple claimantsWhere there is more than one claimant bringing the same claim, then the two-stage fee structure takes into account the number of claimants who are bringing the claim.

  • Level 1 claims - where there are between two to ten claimants, the issue fee will be £320 and hearing fee £460 - where there are between 11 to 200 claimants, the issue fee will be £640 and the hearing fee £920 - where there are 201 or more claimants, the issue fee will be £960 and the hearing fee £1,380.
  • Level 2 claims - where there are between two and ten claimants, the issue fee will be £500 and the hearing fee £1,900 - where there are between 11 and 200 claimants, the issue fee will be £1,000 and the hearing fee 3,800 - where there are 201 or more claimants, the issue fee will be £1,500 and the hearing fee £5,700.

The fees in the EAT will mirror the two-stage structure to be implemented in the employment tribunals. There will be a fee of £400 to issue an appeal and a further fee of £1,200 to proceed to a full hearing.

Fee remission

It has been proposed that a remission scheme, similar to that employed in the civil courts, will apply to employment tribunals to protect access to justice for claimants who cannot afford to pay full tribunal fees in certain instances.

The Government has yet to announce an implementation date for the new remission scheme, but has unofficially suggested October 2013. Therefore from 29 July the employment tribunal fees will exist alongside the current (very different and more complicated) remissions scheme.

The new proposed remission system would have two tests, the first of which would assess disposable capital and the second, gross monthly income. Both of these tests would have to be met to qualify for a remission.

Disposable capital test

  • this test which determine whether a claimant is eligible for a remission or a waiver based on an assessment of their household disposable capital. This will include a claimants savings and investments, stocks and shares, but the value of their property occupied as their main residence, any pension funds and insurance based products will be exempt from this test
  • it is proposed that: - for fees up to £1,000, remissions will be available if disposable capital does not exceed £3,000 - for fees between £1,001 and £4,000, remissions will be available if disposable capital does not exceed £8000 - for fees more than £4,000, remissions are available where the claimants disposable capital does not exceed £16,000.

Income test

  • if the claimant is able to demonstrate that their household income is below a certain threshold, they will be granted a full fee waiver
  • the claimants marital status and number of dependants will be taken into consideration in assessing income level
  • if the claimants income is above the threshold, they will be required to either: - make a contribution to the fee, based on a percentage of their income in excess of the threshold - pay the full fee where their income exceeds the threshold by a defined amount
  • people on Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Income-based Jobseekers Allowance and Pension Credit guarantee credit will automatically be deemed to meet the income test
  • however, if the claimant is receiving any form of Working Tax Credit, this will not be deemed to qualify for automatic remission, and so claimants need to demonstrate that they meet the household income test.

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The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

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