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Introduction of tribunal fees from 2013

Tribunal Fees from 2013

Summary – Fees to be charged for submitting a claim to the Employment Tribunal

The government’s commitment to improving employment law continues with the introduction of tribunal fees during the summer of 2013.  This is despite employee groups opposing the plans on the basis they will prevent access to justice and deter workers from bringing valid claims.  Business groups also considered that any fees system should explicitly seek to deter weak or vexatious claims.  The rationale however behind the introduction of the fees is not to prevent claims according to the government but to require tribunal system users to bear some of its costs.

The new system will introduce a two-stage fee structure for employment tribunal claims.  The amount payable will depend upon the type of claim.  The types of claims are as follows:

The fees are as follows:

Fee Type Who pays When is it paid Level 1 Claims Level 2 Claims
Issue Fee Claimant On issue of the claim £160 £250
Hearing Fee Claimant 4-6 weeks before the hearing £230 £950

There will also be 5 types of discrete applications which will also attract separate fees.  For example, an application for judicial mediation will be £600 to be paid by the employer.  A breach of contract counter-claim by the employer will cost £160.  Any appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal will also attract fees.

There will be no exemptions to the requirement to pay fees for either party. However, if claimants can establish their financial eligibility they can ask for full or partial remission if they cannot afford the fees.  

Many are however sceptical about how effectively the new system will be administered. No doubt the introduction of tribunal fees will also create tactical issues particularly surrounding the question of settlement.  Will a claimant want to settle once they have paid their fees?  Who will bear the cost of the fees in any settlement? Will the employer hold back on settlement to see if the claimant may be deterred from claiming because they have to pay the fee?  It will take some time once the new system has been introduced to establish the effectiveness of the fee system and the actual effect on the number of claims.  Although the government’s intention was not to deter claims many employers will be hoping that it may make workers with nuisance claims think twice about presenting their claims.

Helen Taylor, Senior Associate

Contact Information

fgmedia@floydgraham.co.uk

+44 (0) 1604 871143

This update is for general guidance only and does not constitute definitive advice.

Updated: by FG Solicitors
Call us on:  0808 172 93 22

INTRODUCTION OF TRIBUNAL FEES FROM 2013

Tribunal Fees from 2013

Summary – Fees to be charged for submitting a claim to the Employment Tribunal

The government’s commitment to improving employment law continues with the introduction of tribunal fees during the summer of 2013.  This is despite employee groups opposing the plans on the basis they will prevent access to justice and deter workers from bringing valid claims.  Business groups also considered that any fees system should explicitly seek to deter weak or vexatious claims.  The rationale however behind the introduction of the fees is not to prevent claims according to the government but to require tribunal system users to bear some of its costs.

The new system will introduce a two-stage fee structure for employment tribunal claims.  The amount payable will depend upon the type of claim.  The types of claims are as follows:

  •          Level 1 Claims: Straightforward and low value claims including unpaid wages; redundancy payments; and payments in lieu of notice.
  •          Level 2 Claims: Unfair dismissal; discrimination; equal pay; and whistleblowing.

The fees are as follows:

Fee Type Who pays When is it paid Level 1 Claims Level 2 Claims
Issue Fee Claimant On issue of the claim £160 £250
Hearing Fee Claimant 4-6 weeks before the hearing £230 £950

There will also be 5 types of discrete applications which will also attract separate fees.  For example, an application for judicial mediation will be £600 to be paid by the employer.  A breach of contract counter-claim by the employer will cost £160.  Any appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal will also attract fees.

There will be no exemptions to the requirement to pay fees for either party. However, if claimants can establish their financial eligibility they can ask for full or partial remission if they cannot afford the fees.  

Many are however sceptical about how effectively the new system will be administered. No doubt the introduction of tribunal fees will also create tactical issues particularly surrounding the question of settlement.  Will a claimant want to settle once they have paid their fees?  Who will bear the cost of the fees in any settlement? Will the employer hold back on settlement to see if the claimant may be deterred from claiming because they have to pay the fee?  It will take some time once the new system has been introduced to establish the effectiveness of the fee system and the actual effect on the number of claims.  Although the government’s intention was not to deter claims many employers will be hoping that it may make workers with nuisance claims think twice about presenting their claims.

Helen Taylor, Senior Associate

Contact Information

fgmedia@floydgraham.co.uk

+44 (0) 1604 871143

This update is for general guidance only and does not constitute definitive advice.