Fees are to be introduced in employment tribunals by Summer 2013. The intention is not to reduce the number of claims but to lower the costs of the employment tribunal system to the tax payer. For Level 1 claims (the most simple ones) the issue fee will be £160 with a £230 hearing fee. For Level 2 claims (which will cover most employment claims) the issue fee will be £250 with a hearing fee of £950. There are other fees for certain other applications including £600 for a judicial mediation.
A claimant will now be required to pay a fee at the issue of their claim. Judges will have the power to order the unsuccessful party to reimburse the fees paid by the successful party although this will be at the Judge’s discretion rather than an automatic right. Those on low incomes may not be required to pay the full fees.
The Government has stated it is committed to reviewing the fee structure once implemented.