The Government have announced that the introduction of fees into the Employment Tribunal system will take place with effect from 29 July 2013. From this date Claimant's will be required to pay a fee in order to lodge a claim and a further fee will be payable by the Claimant in order for the claim to proceed to a hearing.
The fees will be split into two "types" with more complicated claims attracting a higher fee. The Government confirmed on 13 July 2012 that the following fees would apply:-
- type A - straightforward claims (e.g. unlawful deductions, notice pay and redundancy pay) will cost £160 to lodge the claim, with a further £230 hearing fee; and
- type B - most other claims (e.g. unfair dismissal, discrimination and equal pay) will attract a £250 fee to lodge the claim and an additional £950 hearing fee.
In conjunction with the introduction of fees there will be a fee remissions system introduced, which the Government hopes will ensure that access to justice will not be restricted as a result of fees being payable.
I suspect the introduction of Employment Tribunal fees will result in two things:-
- a reduction in the number of Tribunal claims raised;
- employers waiting to see if the claimant pays the hearing fee before deciding whether to make a settlement offer. It may well be that many claimants will be willing to pay the fee for lodging the claim in the hope that a settlement offer will be forthcoming. However, they may be less willing or able to pay a hearing fee of £1,000 (which is likely to be payable 4 to 6 weeks before the Hearing).