Tribunal fees

Tribunal fees were introduced in 2013, with one payment due on the issue of a claim and another before the hearing. 

Since this introduction, Unison were locked in a legal battle to declare these unlawful; a fight they won in July 2017.  The Supreme Court found that Tribunal fees “effectively prevent access to justice”, stating that is was “virtually impossible or excessively difficult” for some individuals to exercise their employment rights, and that the fees regime indirectly discriminates against some groups.

It is unsure whether there will be a new fees regime introduced in light of this decision, but those seeking to bring a claim at the Employment Tribunal are no longer required to pay a fee.

What happens if I brought a claim prior to July 2017 and paid Tribunal fees?

The Government has stated they will be paying back all tribunal fees to those who have brought a claim since 2013, and they are also debating whether the time limit to bring a claim will be extended, to allow those who were put off by the fees to bring their claim if they are now outside of the usual time limit, which is three months since the dismissal.

You are unable to recover the fees if your employer has already paid them to you, for example if you won your case and the Employment Tribunal ordered your employer to repay your fees.

To receive a refund on your Tribunal fees, you can apply online if:

  • you haven’t changed your name since you made the claim to the Tribunal;
  • your claim was against one employer; and,
  • you have a UK bank account.

If the above conditions are not met, you can apply by post or email by using one of these three different forms:

  • form 1-C if you made the claim on your own and paid the fees;
  • form 3-S if you paid the fees for someone else to make the claim or you were the ‘lead claimant’ in a joint (‘multiple’) claim; or
  • form 2-R if a claim was brought against you and you were ordered to pay someone’s fees, or if you paid any other fees to the Tribunal.

All applications will need to include the amount you paid in Tribunal fees.  You may also be required to provide further details such as your contact details, the circumstances of the claim, your representative’s details etc.

You can send your completed form by post or email to HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS).

  • Email address: 
  • Postal address: HM Courts and Tribunals Service - England and Wales, Customer Contact Centre, PO Box 10218, Leicester, LE1 8EG.

If you need any help applying, you can contact HMCTS by telephone on 0300 123 1024.

If you are considering pursuing a claim against your employer, there are still certain criteria you must meet, for example for unfair dismissal claims you must have at least 2 years’ service.  For advice on whether you have a claim against your former or current employer, you can find out how our ACAS Early Conciliation service could help you by contacting us on 023 8071 7717 or email   

To speak to one of our experts please call us

Most professional and extremely clear advice and support received.