The Government has confirmed that from today, claimants will have to pay a fee if they want to take their employer to employment tribunal. Currently, it costs nothing for a claimant to make a claim. However, in a bid to weed out the weak and vexatious attempts by the claimant to have their day in court, a two stage fee will be charged. If the fee is not paid, or the claimant does not apply for ‘remission’, the claim will not be
Claimants will be required to pay an initial fee (the ‘issue fee’) at the issue of a claim, and a further fee (a ‘hearing fee) 4 – 6 weeks before the tribunal hearing.
The amount of the fee will depend on the type of claim being made. To bring a Type A claim, the claimant must pay a £160 issue fee, and then a ‘hearing fee’ of £230. Type A claims include unlawful deductions, failure to pay redundancy pay; failure to provide statement of terms and conditions; failure of employer to allow worker to take or be paid for annual leave etc.
To bring a Type B claim, the issue fee is £250 and the hearing fee is £950. Type B claims include unfair dismissal, discrimination, failure to comply with rest break rules, failure to allow certain types of time off etc.
The cost to make a claim to Employment Appeal Tribunal will be a £400 issue fee and a £1200 hearing fee.
Fees will also apply to other procedural elements of the tribunal system e.g. £100 for an application for a review.
The tribunal will have the power to order that fees paid by the successful party be reimbursed by the unsuccessful party, though this will not be an automatic occurrence.
A remission system will be in place for those who cannot afford to pay the fees, and upon evidence of this, either the whole or part of the fee will be waived.
From Peninsula who have added this clarification
The introduction of paying fees to make a tribunal claim is here.
In Scotland, an interim interdict (which would have meant that fees could not be charged from 29th July 2013) was refused. However, a full judicial review will be held later on in the year. If the decision is that fees should not be introduced, all fees paid until that time will be refunded.
Whilst in England, trade union Unison has also tried to block the fees. We will watch this space.
In the meantime, the Government provided some clarification on details. Firstly, it admitted there had been a drafting error in the legislation when the fee for equal pay claims was set in the higher tier (total fee £1250). It should have been set at the lower fee figure (total £390) and legislation will be changed to reflect this.
It was also confirmed that preliminary hearings at tribunal will not attract a hearing fee, and multiple Employment Appeal Tribunal claims will only attract one single fee.
Peninsula’s MD Peter Done wrote in yesterday’s the Sunday Times.