Employment Tribunal Introduces Fees
28 August 2013 by Marketing Team
As part of wide-ranging reforms Employment Tribunals started to implement a new fees regime meaning that any claims filed later than 29 July 2013 will now attract a monetary charge. This is the first time an employee has been asked to pay to bring a claim in the tribunals.
Fees will be payable in two stages. The first stage payment will be due on the filing of the claim, after which a second set of fees become payable prior to the listed hearing. The amount will vary depending on the type of claim being bought. The law now divides tribunal claims into two categories; firstly claims defined as ‘type A’, which include statutory redundancy payments and breach of contract claims; and secondly ‘type B’ claims which include the unfair dismissal claim and discrimination claim.
The costs for filing a type A claim are slightly lower than those associated with a type B claim. A type A claim will cost £160 on issue, with a £230 fee payable once hearing stage has been reached. Costs for filing a type B claim are higher with a £250 fee payable at issue and a £950 fee payable at hearing stage. If your claim includes a claim from each claim type, the fee payable will be a type B fee only. Fees are also payable in a number of other circumstances, such as for example the filing of certain applications to the tribunal or on application for appeal.
The second stage fee will be payable depending on the case management directions given after issue of the claim. Therefore, fast track claims (those which have a hearing set before the response is received) will need to be paid for 21 days in advance of the hearing date whereas normal claims will most likely be paid three or four weeks before the hearing date. Application fees will need to be paid on the filing of the application itself.
What will be of most concern to employees is that changes have not been made to the overall costs regime in employment tribunal proceedings. The fees, therefore, remain unrecoverable in normal circumstances and will represent an added burden placed upon the party bringing the claim. A judicial review of the decision has been launched by Unison who have a full hearing listed for October. Certain groups of employees will also be able to take advantage of fee remissions. These are on offer for a range of potential Claimants who collect benefits, have a low gross annual income or have a low disposable monthly income.
For an employer, the effects are likely to be more favourable. Foremost, the prudent employee will be much more wary of the costs associated with bringing an employment claim. Employers should at least see a reduction in the amount of speculative or frivolous claims being made.
Our Employment law department is able to provide guidance on all issue that arise from the new fees regime. Contact Beth Baird or Cate Hammett on 01206 835 230 or email [email protected] or [email protected] for more details.