Fee for bringing employment tribunal claim imposed
The charging of a fee in employment tribunals, under which the claimant has to pay an initial fee to issue a claim and a further fee if the claim proceeds to a hearing, is introduced in summer 2013.
The Government states that the aims of the fee system are to ensure that people using employment tribunals contribute to the cost of running the system where they can afford to do so, rather than the full cost being met by the taxpayer, and to encourage people to look for alternatives, such as mediation, before going to the employment tribunal.
There will be two levels of claim:
- For level 1 claims, the issue fee is £160 and the hearing fee is £230.
- For level 2 claims, the issue fee is £250 and the hearing fee is £950.
Whether a claim attracts level 1 fees or level 2 fees will depend on the type of claim. Level 2 claims are those that are likely to be more complex and take more time to determine. Level 1 claims include unlawful deduction from wages, holiday pay, and redundancy payment claims. Level 2 claims include discrimination, equal pay and unfair dismissal claims.
For claims submitted to the EAT, the issue fee is £400 and the hearing fee is £1,200. There is only one level of fee regardless of the type of claim or number of claimants.
The current remission system that is used in the civil courts, under which fees can be waived if the party cannot afford to pay, will be extended to employment tribunals and the EAT.
The Ministry of Justice has said that it will implement employment tribunal fees in summer 2013.
- Introduction of tribunal fees could be a costly business The Government intends to introduce fees for claimants bringing tribunal claims. But which claimants would they end up deterring, and do the staff in the employment tribunal system have the resources to deal with the introduction of fees? Consultant editor Darren Newman sets out his views.
- Tribunal procedures and penalties: employment tribunal reform The XpertHR employment law manual provides details of the plans to introduce employment tribunal fees.
- Charging fees in employment tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal (PDF format, 318.4K) The consultation response document is available on the Ministry of Justice website.
How to decide whether to settle or fight an employment tribunal claim Practical guidance for employers faced with a tribunal claim is provided in the XpertHR "how to" section.