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Fees in Employment Tribunals

Unlucky for some? Friday the 13th 2012 saw the Ministry of Justice publish its response to the consultation on the introduction of fees in Employment Tribunals.
The outcome of the consultation endorses the introduction of fees, albeit at a slightly lower rate than initially proposed.
When the proposals were announced the emphasis appeared to be on reducing the number of frivolous or vexatious claims entering the system.  However, the response is now aimed at encouraging mediation and reducing the cost of the employment tribunal system to the tax payer.
The proposed fee structure is to be implemented from summer 2013. Fees will be dependant on the type or “level” of claim. “Level 1” claims are generally for sums due on termination of employment such as unpaid wages, whilst “level 2” claims include unfair dismissal, discrimination, equal pay and whistle-blowing cases. 
Employees will be charged £160 to submit a “level 1” claim form and £250 to submit a “level 2” claim form. If the case then goes to a hearing, a fee of £230 for “level 1” claims and £950 for “level 2” claims will be applied. To appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal fees of £400 to submit an appeal and £1200 to go to a hearing have been proposed. 
The Ministry of Justice plans to publish the response to the wider consultation on “remissions” for low paid workers in Autumn. However, the remission proposals have been labelled “inadequate” and the implementation of a fee structure has been branded a “disgrace” by the unions. Whatever the outcome of the consultation in Autumn the introduction of fees in Employment Tribunals is likely to be challenged.
For further information relating to Employment Tribunals or Employment Law please contact our Employment.