In what circumstances are respondents required to pay tribunal fees?

Respondents are not required to pay employment tribunal fees in any circumstances. On 26 July 2017, the Supreme Court held that the employment tribunal fees system was unlawful as it prevented access to justice. The Supreme Court quashed the legislation that had brought the fees system into force. It is not yet known if the Government will introduce an alternative fees system.

Under the system that was ruled unlawful, employment tribunal issue fees and hearing fees were payable by the claimant, but if the respondent made certain applications during the proceedings, it was responsible for paying the application-specific fees.

The fees payable by a respondent on making the relevant application were:

  • £100 for a reconsideration of a default judgment;
  • £100 (for a level one claim) or £350 (for a level two claim) for a reconsideration of a judgment following a final hearing; and
  • £160 for an employer's contract claim (ie a counter claim).

The respondent was also responsible for paying a fee of £600 if the case was listed for judicial mediation.