Enforcement of awards

The awards of compensation that Employment Tribunals make are civil judgments and if they are not paid they will need to be enforced by taking further court action.


There are a number of different forms of enforcement action that can be taken which are described below. You can use as many of them as you wish either together or after each other.


Fees are usually payable to use these court services although they might be waived or reduced if you receive some benefits or have a low income. The normal full fee is given for each type of enforcement action.

EX160A Form - Guidance and Application for Court Fee Remission
This leaflet explains the system for reductions of the court fees that would normally need to be paid for court enforcement action. It also contains the application form.
Adobe Acrobat Document 337.4 KB

Enforcement against goods

The most common method of enforcement allows the judgment creditor to enforce the judgment by seizing the goods of the judgment debtor which can ultimately be sold to pay the debt. A High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO) or County Court Bailiff can be instructed to seize and sell the debtor's goods in order to satisfy the debt, legal costs and the costs of enforcement.


There is a fee of £100 payable when applying for this order.


Fast Track enforcement

HCEO's can be instructed to take action to enforce Employment Tribunal awards or ACAS settlements through a special process called the 'fast track'.


This allows an employee with an Employment Tribunal award or an ACAS COT 3 settlement agreement to fill in a form which is then sent direct to the HCEO. There is a different form for each type of debt - see below. These processes can be used for a debt of any amount.


There is a fee of £60 payable when applying for this order.


If you are seeking to enforce an ACAS settlement then you need to ensure that any conditions that you had to meet as part of the settlement have been met.

Form for enforcing Employment Tribunal award through the HCEO 'fast track'.
Adobe Acrobat Document 182.8 KB
Form for enforcing ACAS settlement through the HCEO 'fast track'.
Adobe Acrobat Document 186.9 KB

Order to Obtain Information

This is appropriate when a Judgment Debtor is unprepared to disclose any assets that they might have in order to settle a debt, be they physical assets such as a car or art works, or Bank and saving accounts.


In these circumstances, you can request the Court to interview the debtor, to establish what assets the debtor might have, and where they might be located. This information can then be used to take further enforcement action.


An Order to Obtain Information requires a Judgment Debtor to attend Court, and under oath disclose such information as

  • their employment, together with details of the employer and wages
  • details of dependants, and outgoings
  • details of additional income
  • details of any properties owned
  • details of Bank and savings accounts

 There is a fee of £50 payable when applying for this order 

Guidance on applying for information about a debtor
Adobe Acrobat Document 238.6 KB
N316 Form applying for information about a debtor
Use this form if the person you are seeking information on is an individual.
Adobe Acrobat Document 35.9 KB
N316A Form for applying for information about a limited company
Use this form to request that a company officer gives information to the court
Adobe Acrobat Document 40.0 KB

Attachment of Earnings Order

If the judgment debtor is employed but has no other assets this is often an effective method of enforcement.


This Order can be made against wages, salaries, fees etc but not against self-employed income.


The Order requires an employer to regularly make deductions from the judgment debtor’s salary and make payments into the Court in order to satisfy the judgment debt.


There is a fee of £100 payable when applying for this order. 

Guidance on applying for Attachment of Earnings Order
Adobe Acrobat Document 239.5 KB
N337 Form to apply for Attachment of Earnings Order
Adobe Acrobat Document 244.6 KB

Third Party Debt Order

This is the appropriate method when the judgment debtor himself is owed money by a third party.


The most common application of this method is against the Bank account of the judgment debtor. It can however also be used when a business is the judgment debtor and is owed money in the form of trade debts.


A Third Party Debt Order requires the third party to pay the debt owed to the judgment debtor directly to the judgment creditor in order to satisfy the judgment debt.


There is a fee of £100 payable when applying for this order,

Guidance on applying for a Third Part Debt Order
Adobe Acrobat Document 212.5 KB
N 349 Form for applying for a Third Party Debt Order
Adobe Acrobat Document 103.4 KB

Charging Orders

This is a means of securing a judgment debt against the judgment debtor’s property. Although it won’t automatically result in a payment it will secure the debt against the judgment debtor’s property and when the judgment debtor comes to sell the property or remortgage it, the charge should be paid from any available equity.


Alternatively the judgment creditor can take a pro-active approach and apply to the Court for an Order For Sale to force the sale of the judgment debtor’s property.


This application is only usually made where the value of the debt is quite high.


There is a fee of £100 payable when applying for this order.

Guidance on applying for a Charging Order
Adobe Acrobat Document 212.5 KB
N379 Form for applying for a Charging Order
Adobe Acrobat Document 59.7 KB

Bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings


Apart from the above court based methods it is possible to commence proceedings to make the person that owes you money insolvent.


This involves commencing formal proceedings for bankruptcy of an individual or winding up of a company in a County Court.


There is a fee of £220 payable when filing a bankruptcy petition. In addition a deposit has to be paid to the Official Receiver for individuals this is £700 and for companies £1,165. There is no remission of these fees.

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