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Introduction of fees for employment tribunal cases

Posted on 30th May 2013
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On 28 May 2013 HM Courts and Tribunals Service announced the date for the implementation of fees for all employment tribunal cases will be Monday 29 July 2013. From this date all employment tribunal claims (and appeals to the Employment Appeal Tribunal) will be subject to a fee unless an application for a fee remission is provided.

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What are the levels of the fees to be paid?

A claimant or appellant will be required to pay an “issue fee” on presenting his or her claim or appeal. A “hearing fee” will be payable before the full hearing.

In employment tribunal cases there will be two fee levels based on the type of claim.

Type A claims cover the more straight-forward cases and will include deduction from wages claims and disputes about refusal to allow time off from work.

Type B claims cover the more complicated and potentially time consuming claims such as unfair dismissal and discrimination claims.

Fees will also be payable for various applications; for example to dismiss a claim after withdrawal, or for a review of a final decision.

What fees are payable?

Fee Type Level 1 claims Level 2 claims
Issue fee £160 £250
Hearing fee £230 £950

A claim that includes Type A and B claims will be charged the higher fee only.

Transitional provisions

Only claims made to the employment tribunal on or after the implementation date of 29 July will attract fees. Existing claims will not be liable to any fees, including the hearing fee. However, any appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal will be subject to an appeal fee of £400 and a full-hearing fee of £1,200.

Time limits

There will be no extension of time for making claims.

Fee remission scheme

For those claimant’s who can’t afford to pay they will be able to apply for a fee remission. The details of the scheme have not as yet been fully published.

In practice

The initial burden falls on the claimant and the introduction of fees in the employment tribunals finally does away with the notion that they exist to provide the parties with a low cost, effective means of resolving employment disputes. For claimant’s new litigation tactics will evolve. It is likely that most employees will write to the respondent giving a deadline for a case to be settled; in default the claim will be issued and the issue fee paid.

Thereafter for employers, you can expect to be required to incorporate in any terms of settlement the fees payable by the claimant. Thus we anticipate you will ultimately have to pay these fees, especially as part of a negotiated settlement.

If a case goes to a full-hearing, the tribunal will have the power to order the unsuccessful party to reimburse all fees paid by the successful party. This power will no doubt encourage claimants to try hard and recovery any fees paid by them.

You can be assured that in all tribunal cases we handle this new issue will be discussed fully with you if and when appropriate.

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