The Ministry of Justice has published the results of its consultation on the introduction of fees in employment tribunals. The Government’s intention is to introduce such fees in the latter half of 2013.
Fees are to be charged in two stages, the first at the issue of the claim, and the second prior to the hearing. There are also several other discrete fees; for example £60 for an application to dismiss following settlement and £600 for Judicial Mediation.
Level 1 claims are straightforward claims for defined sums, such as unauthorised deductions from wages and redundancy payments. Such claims would attract a fee of £160 on issue of the claim and an additional £230 at the hearing stage. Level 2 claims involve more complex issues, including unfair dismissal, discrimination and equal pay. These claims will attract an issue fee of £250 and a hearing fee of £950.
Claims involving more than one and up to ten claimants would be charged twice the applicable fee for a single claim; those involving 11-200 claimants would be charged four times the single fee and those involving over 200 claimants six times the single fee. At the EAT, there would be an appeal fee of £400 and a hearing fee of £1200. Tribunals will also be given a discretionary power to order the losing party to pay any costs of the successful party incurred by way of fees. The consultation suggests that it is a matter for the parties to take the payment of any fees into account during settlement negotiations.
A further review to consider the remissions system is intended to produce a single, simpler, remissions system for courts and tribunals which is more cost efficient and ensures that those who can afford to pay fees do so, while those who cannot remain able to access to the courts and tribunal system.