Employment tribunal fees: what you need to know

It is now a year since the Government introduced employment tribunal fees and it has certainly changed the way things are done.

There was a spike in claims before the fees came into effect and then a very significant reduction after.

Critics said that the fees were discouraging people from seeking justice, while supporters argued they were deterring spurious claims.

Going to tribunal as an employee

In truth, not every employee is being priced out of employment tribunals. Legal insurance, including those sold with household policies, often cover tribunal fees.

Additionally, employment solicitors are offering no-win/no-fee arrangements, although only after concluding there is a good chance of winning (which is probably weeding out spurious claims).

For people experiencing hardship, there is also the possibility of gaining fees remission, in other words a waiver of their employment tribunal fees.

Compulsory conciliation

As part of the overhaul a new rule has been introduced making it compulsory for employees to seek conciliation through ACAS, before taking their case to tribunal.

This has proved successful in some cases, although it could be argued that the participants would have taken this route anyway. Other cases are reaching an impasse and progressing to tribunal.

Financial risks to employers

With tribunal claims dropping dramatically, it might be tempting for some employers to become complacent in how they treat grievances, but this would be risky.

As well as having access to insurance cover, no-win/no-fee and fee remission, claimants are pushing hard for their costs to be covered at tribunal when they win.

This could add a substantial amount to the bill losing employers face, which is another compelling reason for using mediation and conciliation services wherever possible.

If you would like advice on employment tribunals or discuss our employment mediation services, please get in touch.


Here are the types of cases we handle:

  • Contracts of Employment
  • Employer Staff Handbooks
  • Redundancy Process
  • Breach of Contract
  • Breach of Restrictive Covenants
  • Tribunal Claims
  • Settlement Agreements
  • Consultancy Agreements

Sports and Football Law

  • Contracts of Employment
  • Service Agreements
  • Contractual Issues
  • Executive Departures

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