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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.