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Employment Tribunals fees will be introduced from summer 2013

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The government has confirmed the fees claimants will have to pay if they want to bring an employment tribunal claim.

From summer 2013 employees wishing to initiate a claim for unfair dismissal, discrimination or equal pay - categorised as a level 2 claim - will have to pay £1,200 in advance. This will be made up of a £250 issue fee and £950 hearing fee.

Level 1 claims which are straightforward claims such as unpaid wages, unlawful deductions or redundancy pay will cost £390 in total consisting a £160 issue fee and £230 fee if the hearing progresses

In addition Employment Appeal Tribunals will cost the claimant a £400 appeal fee plus a £1,200 hearing fee.

Other fees include £60 for an application to dismiss following settlement and £600 for a judge to mediate– the government is keen to push this alternative solution rather than pursuing a full claim.

The new fees structure is the result of a consultation process on the introduction of fees in employment tribunals.

The announcement press release appears to abandon the previous rationale for introducing employment tribunal fees – that it would reduce the number of speculative and erroneous claims – now preferring the argument that having fees will reduce the cost of the employment tribunal system to the taxpayer.

People on low incomes will be able to apply for exemptions from fees.

However, the introduction of fees has proved controversial, with the TUC and Unison expressing their concern that fees will reduce access to justice while, perhaps unsurprisingly, employer’s groups such as the manufacturer’s  organisation the EEF welcomed the reforms in the hope they will reduce the number of vexatious and weak claims.

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

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