Kate Brooks
Partner, Solicitor & Head of Employment/HR Services
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Date Published:10 Mar 2016 Last Updated:07 Apr 2021

Employment claims – County Court or Employment Tribunal?

Employment Law Advice

Since the original publication of this blog in 2014, employment tribunal fees have since been abolished.

A claim that arises from a breach of an employment contract can be brought in either the employment tribunal or the county court.

There is no fee to issue a claim to the employment tribunal.

County court claims attract court fees starting at £25 and increase depending on the amount being claimed. For example, a claim for £3,000 of outstanding wages would attract an online issue fee of £105 or paper form issue fee of £115. There will also be a hearing fee and directions questionnaire fee payable.

For further information on county court fees, please our dispute resolution team’s blog here. A full list of county court fees can be found here on the Government website.

Some other considerations that Claimant’s should take into account when considering whether to pursue their claim in the employment tribunal or county court are as follows:

  1. Value of claim – you can only claim up to £25,000 for a breach of contract claim in the employment tribunal. There is no limit in the county court;
  2. Legal costs – there is more chance of getting your legal costs back in the county court if you win, however if you lose there is a larger risk of having to pay your employer’s costs;
  3. Time limit to bring claim – are far longer in the county court compared to 3 months in the employment tribunal; and
  4. Formality – employment tribunals are less formal than county courts.

If you require any information on bringing or defending an employment tribunal claim, please do not hesitate to contact one of
our experienced Employment Lawyers on 01202 525333 for further advice.