Employment Tribunal Fees to be introduced
Fees are to be introduced this summer for employees who wish to issue a claim in the Employment Tribunal a further fee will be payable before the hearing.
Employers will also have to pay fees if they bring a counter claim. The Ministry of Justice insists the fees will lower the cost of the employment tribunal system to the taxpayer. It had originally suggested that fees were meant to reduce the number of vexatious claims from disgruntled employees. Tribunal judges will have the power to order the unsuccessful party to reimburse fees paid by the successful party, although this will not be automatic.
In further news the Ministry of Justice has announced it is to launch an online service where litigants can pay their employment tribunal fees. The website is said to be launched in July which suggests tribunal fees will themselves be introduced at that time rather than in August, when it was originally mooted.
Employment Tribunal Fee Rates
The government will implement a two-stage fee charging structure, requiring claimants to present an "issue fee" when they submit their claim or appeal, followed by a "hearing fee" prior to a hearing. The amount of each fee will depend on the type of claim. More straightforward claims are allocated to the "Level 1" category. All other claims are "Level 2" claims and will require the claimant to pay a higher fee. ‘Level 1’ claims will cover disputes over matters such as unlawful deductions from wages, failure to make guarantee payments, and failure make a redundancy payment and will attract an issue fee of £160 and a further £230 prior to the hearing. ‘Level 2’ claims including discrimination, equal pay, and unfair dismissal will attract an issue fee of £250 and a hearing fee of £950.
Employers may have to pay for other types of applications during an Employment Tribunal claim, such as counterclaiming or applications for default judgments.
Results from the MoJ’s consultation on the introduction of fees in employment tribunals state that the income from fees will not cover the actual cost of running the employment tribunal system and the government is committed to reviewing the fee structure once it is implemented.
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