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Employment Tribunal Costs for Employer

Our guide to approximate employment tribunal costs and timescales.

Going through an Employment Tribunal can be stressful and time-consuming. At Newtons, our Employment Tribunal solicitors offer comprehensive yet efficient employment legal support to any employer needing to defend a claim. Most cases are settled without the need for an Employment Tribunal hearing; however, we are here to support you throughout the entire process, whatever that may be.

The information provided below is a guide to approximate Employment Tribunal claim costs and timescales so you can begin to understand your budget. These costs relate to defending a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal in the Employment Tribunal brought against you by a former employee.

We would always advise you to contact the office and speak to a member of our team to obtain more detailed and tailored Employment Tribunal process, costs and timescale estimates.

What is the total cost of defending Employment Tribunal claims?

After an initial meeting and review of the available papers, the Newtons team will usually be able to specify a range for the total defending Employment Tribunal claims costs.

The total costs for defending the claim from start to finish are likely to be within one of the following bands:

  • Simple case: £4,500-£8,000 (plus VAT)
  • Medium complexity case: £8,000-£17,000 (plus VAT)
  • High complexity case: £17,000-£30,000 (plus VAT)

Sometimes, employers want to deal with some of the work themselves. In these cases, our Employment Tribunal costs will be lower to reflect the amount of the work that we complete.

If you are a member of a professional or trade organisation, or if you have legal expenses insurance, you may be able to use Newtons without paying some or all of the legal costs.

Our Employment Tribunal solicitor costs are based on the time spent on a matter using the charge out rate applicable to the solicitor doing the work. If we quote you a fixed fee or a range of fees, we will not exceed that amount for the work it covers. If you ask us to do extra work, we will give you a figure when we know what is involved.

What do Employment Tribunal claim costs cover?

The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:

  • Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and likely compensation (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and subject to change).
  • Entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached.
  • Preparing the response to the claim.
  • Reviewing and advising on the response from the other party.
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process.
  • Preparing or considering a schedule of loss.
  • Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing.
  • Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents.
  • Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses.
  • Preparing the bundles of documents.
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements.
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list.
  • Preparation and attendance at Final Hearing or preparing instructions to Counsel to represent you at the Final Hearing.

What are Disbursements?

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Depending on the case and your preferences, it may be more cost-effective for one of our solicitors to represent you at the hearing, or for us to arrange for a barrister to represent you instead.

If you use a barrister, their fees are likely to be between £1,000 to £2,000 per day (plus VAT) for attending a Tribunal Hearing (including preparation). There will be a reduction in our fees of a similar amount unless you decide we should attend the hearing as well as the barrister.

There are unlikely to be any other disbursements apart from travel expenses in relation to attending any hearings.

What are the factors that could make an Employment Tribunal case more complex?

A complex case will result in higher Employment Tribunal claim costs for employer. Here are some of the factors which increase the complexity of a case:

  • If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim.
  • Making or defending a costs application.
  • Complex preliminary issues, such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties).
  • The number of witnesses and documents.
  • If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if the employee is dismissed after blowing the whistle on their employer.
  • Allegations of discrimination or other matters which are linked to the dismissal.
  • If the case needs more than a single one-day hearing at the Employment Tribunal.

How long will the employment tribunal claim process take?

The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved.

If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take between two and four weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 20 and 30 weeks.

These are just estimates, and we will be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.

Are there additional Employment Tribunal claim costs if you appeal against the decision?

If either party is dissatisfied with any decision of the Employment Tribunal, they may be able to ask the Tribunal to review its decision or appeal against it. Although appeals against decisions are rare, these cases will involve extra costs.


Discuss employment tribunal costs with us. 

We hope this has provided you with guidance regarding the cost of defending employment tribunal claims. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our team, who are keen to help.