EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL COSTS: Employment Tribunal Costs For Employers In 2023

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Employees file court claims against employers in employment tribunals. Compensation claims are frequently filed in relation to unfair and wrongful dismissals, discrimination, equal pay, and deductions from wages. If you are an employee and you want to file a claim against your employer, this article will guide you through the process of getting your case to an employment tribunal and the costs of claiming in 2023. However, it’s good to know that while there are no fees for making claims, you’ll need to prepare your mind for the other side costs that may arise in the process. This article will also highlight employment tribunal costs if you lose a case and the cost of the application. 

Employment Tribunal Costs 2023

There are two types of costs involved with the employment tribunal, which are commonly classified as the following: the costs of legal advice and help with the claim, which may include representation at the hearing, and the financial consequences associated with losing an employment law case. The costs of filing or defending unfair or wrongful dismissal claims in 2023 vary greatly depending on the intricacy of the problems, whether the claim settles early or goes to a full contested hearing before the Employment Tribunal, and how long that hearing may take. Ultimately, an employee’s employment tribunal costs in 2023 can range from hundreds to thousands of pounds, depending on whether or not they seek legal representation.

Employees used to be able to represent themselves before a tribunal. But because it’s so difficult to do that alone, most people now choose to have a lawyer represent them in employment tribunals. Therefore, Unless you choose to represent yourself, you must look into legal bills.

Additionally, there’s something called legal expenses insurance. This legal expense insurance may come in handy to pay your legal costs if you are a member of a trade union or already have a legal expense policy in place. 

Otherwise, you’ll need to talk to an employment lawyer who has experience representing employees in employment tribunals about fees and funding sources.

Legal expenses insurance (LEI) can save you money if you need to defend yourself in an employment tribunal. You may not be aware that you have LEI, so check your policies early.

It’s usually available under a home, vehicle, or other insurance policy and can cover tens of thousands of pounds. This policy often pays your employer’s costs if you lose in an employment tribunal.

Employment Tribunal Costs If You Lose

If you win, your employer is not under any obligation to cover your expenses. If you lose, you are not also under any obligation to pay your employer’s legal fees.

However, If you lose, your employer may threaten you with having to pay their legal fees; this could frighten you into withdrawing or resolving your case.  But If you have a credible argument and act responsibly, you shouldn’t have to pay any charges. There are a few circumstances in which you may have to pay. For example, if

  • Your case was doomed to fail from the start.
  • You handled your issue in a very unprofessional manner.
  • You rejected a good settlement offer.

How To Avoid Employment Tribunal Costs As An Employee

The court may order you to pay a limitless amount. However, the following steps are ways you might avoid paying the costs:

  • Be certain you have a valid claim: You must have compelling arguments for asserting your position. Ensure that your allegation meets the legal requirements and that you have documentation to back it up
  • Say it like it is: You may be forced to pay costs if you lie at the hearing and are caught.
  • Ensure that you present all relevant information: Don’t withhold any information concerning your claim that could have an impact on its outcome.
  • Behave yourself: The judge may ask you to gather evidence or produce documents before the hearing. These demands are termed ‘directions’ and will be in ‘orders’. Failure to comply with the tribunal’s request may result in costs.
  • Attend the tribunal hearing: Missing the tribunal hearing could result in a judgment and costs ordered against you. If you can’t attend the hearing, notify the tribunal and your employer immediately. Know that you must have a valid excuse for not attending, such as illness or injury.
  • Withdrawal of a case requires notice: If you decide to withdraw your claim, offer as much notice as possible. Unexpected withdrawals may incur fees.

Employment Tribunal Costs For An Employer

When an employer fails in an unfair dismissal lawsuit, for instance, they are frequently bound to give a monetary amount that comprises compensation for lost earnings and loss of earnings as well as a payment that is equivalent to a redundancy payment (with notice pay if that was excluded). Other types of losses, such as injury to sentiments or damages, might be included in discrimination lawsuits.

According to the British Chamber of Commerce, the average cost of fighting against an employment tribunal claim is £8,500. So even if an employer wins a case, the employee rarely reimburses the employer for legal fees unless the claim proves to be spiteful or unreasonable. Even so, there’s no certainty that these expenses will be recouped.

Other Costs Associated With Employers In An Employment Tribunal 

The financial costs to an employer of defending an employment tribunal action might be enormous; however, money isn’t always all there is; There are other factors to take into account as well, such as:

#1. Time Involved 

Preparation for an employment tribunal takes a long time, which starts immediately after the lodging of a claim. Someone will have to spend time gathering pertinent information, communicating with legal counsel, preparing papers, and finally attending the hearing. Hearings might run for a number of days, depending on the intensity of the claim filed.

#2. Pressure And Stress

The process can be very stressful and strenuous, especially if the employees need to show up at every hearing with evidence 

#3. Employers Reputation 

This could adversely impact you, your company, and your staff, given that employment tribunals are usually public and, in many cases, open to the press.

So as listed and explained, you can see that aside from money, there’s so much more it costs to lose as an employer involved in an employment tribunal.

How To Avoid Employment Tribunal Costs As An Employer

Preventing claims from occurring through efficient people management and practices is one of the cheapest ways to avoid the significant costs involved with an employment tribunal. Employers can make crucial efforts to reduce the likelihood of being sued. There are also various measures to secure at least a low-budget outcome if a claim is filed.

  • Have well-written and up-to-date HR policies as well as a company handbook
  • Defining and Implementing HR procedures fairly and in the same manner for all staff 
  • Application of an informal method called mediation in settling disputes before they blow out
  • Organizing regular training for managers
  • Taking note of issues and problems that require training or communications
  • Keep track of processes and choices to ensure adherence.

Application Costs For Employment Tribunal in 2023

In most cases, you can’t file a tribunal claim without first undergoing ‘early conciliation.’

An initiative named Acas seeks to help you achieve an agreement with your employer through early conciliation. Acas is a government-funded organization tasked with resolving workplace conflicts.

You must begin early conciliation by a deadline. This is normally three months plus one day from the date of the event or treatment you’re unhappy with.

Acas will issue you an early conciliation certificate once you’ve completed early conciliation. There is a number on the certificate that you must enter on your claim form. After that, you’ll have at least a month to file a tribunal claim.

To Start Your Claim 

  • Fill out the online claim form at GOV.UK
  • Print and fill out a copy of the claim form, then post it – It takes longer to get there, and the chances of misplacement are almost inevitable.

An ‘ET1 form’ is another name for the claim form.

In completing a form, you can also include the names of anyone you know who has been involved in a situation with the same employer and has equally filed a claim. Your case doesn’t have to be exactly the same as the other person’s, and this could serve as an advantage to you in court. 

There’s also room for multiple claims, however, you all would not have to file separately; one person will have to fill out the form on behalf of the others in your name.

You can find multiple claim forms on Gov.UK 

Completing Claim Form

Be careful while filling out the form, as this could either make or mar you as jurisdiction goes on.   Ensure it contains the following information:

  • Clearly state the nature of your grievance.
  • Write and describe the events in the sequence in which they occurred.
  • It will be easier to discover and refer to specific areas of your complaint if you number your paragraphs.
  • Enumerate every major occurrence that upsets you.
  • Try to avoid delving into too much detail about what happened.
  • If you’re filling out the form by hand, make sure you’re writing clearly.

Before sending the form out, make sure you’ve answered all of the questions highlighted with an asterisk (*). If you don’t, the tribunal will reject your claim.

If you’re sending the form via mail, ensure you save a copy of it before forwarding it. You can save and print the form if you’re filling it out online.

Costs Of Employment Tribunal Application

The application fee to the employment tribunal costs £100, mostly.

In other cases, such as if you receive specific benefits, there are mechanisms in place to waive the fee.

If the court transfers the proceedings to the tribunal, the application fee is the tribunal fee (£100), less any court fees already paid. There is no obligation to pay the tribunal’s fee if the court fee that’s been paid is equal to or greater than the tribunal’s charge.

Hearing costs

A stipulated hearing cost of £200 will be charged if the tribunal decides to hold a hearing on the subject after payment of the application fee. If you do not pay the hearing fee, the tribunal will notify you in writing. And if you don’t pay within 14 days of the tribunal’s letter, the tribunal will drop the case. Also, If the employment tribunal makes a decision without a complete hearing, you must still pay the application costs but not the hearing charge.

Take note: The hearing will not happen unless you pay the application and hearing fees.


Conclusively, Before pursuing employment tribunals, you should carefully consider the pros and cons outlined in this article, because regardless of whether the filing fee for filing a claim is free, you will be responsible for the costs following it. There is always a cost to pay, whether it is with something significant or with your money. So think about these factors to make sure you’re ready, or, better yet, settle the argument privately with the employer.

How much will an employment tribunal cost me?

You don’t have to pay any fees to make an employment tribunal claim.

How much does an employment tribunal cost UK?

According to the British Chamber of Commerce, the average cost of an employment tribunal claim is around £8,500.

Who pays the costs of an employment tribunal?

In an employment tribunal, the normal rule is that each party pays their own costs, regardless of whether they win or lose their case. However, in some circumstances, one party may have to contribute to the other’s employment tribunal costs.

Can I represent myself at employment tribunal?

Employment tribunals are less formal than other civil courts, and strict rules of evidence do not apply. Parties are able to represent their own case or choose any person they wish to present their case.

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Employment tribunals are less formal than other civil courts, and strict rules of evidence do not apply. Parties are able to represent their own case or choose any person they wish to present their case.

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