Editor's message: There have been some significant changes to the employment tribunal system, including the introduction of a fee regime, and “early conciliation” for most employment tribunal claims.
From 29 July 2013, claimants in employment tribunal proceedings are required to pay a fee to issue a claim and a further fee if the claim proceeds to a final hearing. Further, both parties to the claim are liable to pay a fee for making specified applications. The fee payable depends on whether the claim is a type A or type B claim, which depends on the nature of the claim (see Quick Reference > Type A and type B tribunal claims and Quick Reference > Employment tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal fees). Type A claims are the more straightforward complaints and include claims for unpaid wages, holiday pay and redundancy payments. Type B claims include claims for unfair dismissal, discrimination and equal pay.
From 6 May 2014, before lodging a claim in the employment tribunal, prospective claimants are required to contact Acas so that an attempt at conciliation can be made. Acas will endeavour to promote a settlement during a one-month period. If it concludes that a settlement is not possible, or the period expires without a settlement being reached, Acas will issue an early conciliation certificate to the prospective claimant, who cannot commence relevant tribunal proceedings without it. (See How to > How to get the most out of early conciliation.)
You can see other important changes to tribunal practice and procedure in Employment law manual > Employment tribunals and dispute resolution > Tribunal procedures and penalties > Rules of procedure.
Ashok Kanani, employment law editor
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