Applying for fee remission

Fees were payable for employment tribunal claims from 29 July 2013.

You may be eligible for ‘remission’ of the fee (that is to say, you may not have to pay it) if you are on benefits or a low income, and have very limited savings. If you pay the fee up front, you can still apply for remission provided you do so within 2 months. But if you’re eligible for remission, the chances are you can’t afford to pay the fee up front, so you will need to apply for remission when you present your claim.

Doing that is more difficult than it ought to be.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service guidance note T435 says `It is very important that you send your fee or application for a remission with your claim form.’ But if you present your claim online (which you’re strongly encouraged to do), you can’t: you are asked to say whether you intend to apply for remission, but there’s no option actually to make the application online with your claim form.

So what you have to do is find and print the relevant form and post it (together with supporting evidence) to the Employment Tribunal Central Office at PO Box 10218, Leicester LE1 8EG (or if you have access to DX, at DX 743093, Leicester 35).

At the right hand side of the page showing your online ET1 form, you will see a list of `other relevant links.’ One of them is called `How to apply for remission.’ You might think that would take you to some guidance about how to apply for remission. You’d be wrong. It takes you to a search page for HMC&TS forms and leaflets. The one you want is called `EX160A.’ It’s listed under `leaflets’ rather than `forms,’ but persevere – the leaflet includes the form. Amazingly, there are two versions of EX160A. You want the one marked ‘for Court and Tribunal fees payable from 7 October 2013.’

It’s not clear from any of the official guidance how soon after presenting your online claim you are supposed to send in your application for remission. Staff at the Employment Tribunal enquiry line think it has to arrive within 7 days of your online claim, but they can’t point to any rule or guidance that lays down that time limit. In any event, you should certainly assume that you need to send your form EX160C, with all its supporting documentation, very promptly after submitting your online ET1. Post your remission application the same day, if you possibly can.

10 Replies to “Applying for fee remission”

  1. Can a reasonable employer refuse to pay the fee for an aggrieved employee as an expense? To deny an employee access to justice on this basis could be seen as victimisation? If an employee feels they have to go to tribunal to resolve difficult issues for both parties due to incapability, a reasonable employer without hesitation, should be willing to pay the fee?

    1. This may be the legal sue.. from a tribunal infested with unwelcome lawyers.. but is it really a reasonable answer? It was much cheaper to goto the tribunal unrepresented for a properly reasoned answer for both parties than to pay lawyers large sums to destroy the moral of your work force..after it may only be an argument over a few pennies…or working conditions?

  2. I think the answers to your questions are (1) yes; and (2) no. I can’t imagine even the most benevolent employer feeling honour-bound to stump up the issue fee to enable an aggrieved employee to sue it; and in the (vanishingly) unlikely event that a tribunal found the refusal to be victimisation, the EAT would overturn the decision. A refusal to assist an employee in doing a protected act is not the same as subjecting an employee to a detriment because they’ve done a protected act.

  3. This should say form EX160A. Form EX160C is a table of the contributions Claimants have to make if they have some income. EX160 is a copy of the form without the guidance leaflet.

  4. Applying for a fee remmission is a nightmare…
    I have been trying to claim a fee remission from the county courts for 6 months!!!
    My documents have been back and forth 6 times
    I cannot see why this process would be any different in the employment tribunal?

  5. Naomi, great work as usual. How can the Courts and Tribunal Service get away with the lack of clarity as to how to apply for fee remission? You would almost think it is deliberate.

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