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Fees In Employment Tribunal

Posted on: July 30th, 2013 by Guy No Comments

What is perhaps the most important change to UK Employment Law for several decades took place on Monday 29 July and went by almost unnoticed in the media and general public. From this week a fee will have to be paid to file a claim in the Employment Tribunal, or an appeal in the Employment Appeal Tribunal. Employers have  long claimed that claims in the Tribunal had become a risk-free and cost-free tactic for employees.

Now all claims made in the Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal will involve claimants having to pay fees or make an application for fee exemption.

Level 1 Claims: These claims include breach of contract, wages claims, equal pay claims, holiday pay, redundancy pay, and some claims an employer has denied rights to take time off work.

For these claims an initial fee is payable on issuing the claim of £160, and another £230 at the time of the hearing making a total of £390.

Level 2 Claims: These claims cover more complicated claims, including claims for unfair dismissal, detriment, and discrimination.

For these claims the initial fee is £250 with a further fee of £930 for the hearing, making a total of £1,180. The idea is obviously to make claimants think before even starting any claim, and think very hard about taking a case all the way to a hearing ,rather than settling beforehand.

Fees for claims have to be paid in advance, although the Tribunal has the power to order an unsuccessful party to reimburse the fees of a successful party. Although there is a fear that good claims may be excluded by the costs help will be available from a means tested system whereby claimants who earn a very low wage or are unemployed could see their fees partially or wholly waived.

It may take several years before the effects of these changes can be properly evaluated, although many employers will welcome the way that issuing a claim in the Employment Tribunal is no longer a cost free tactic in employment disputes especially when faced with employees with malicious or vexatious claims.

Meanwhile there is no doubt that the intention is to encourage employees to redouble their efforts to settle disputes via settlement agreements.


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