20th July 2012
Employment Tribunal Fees Confirmed
The government has recently announced the level of fees that anyone wishing to submit an Employment Tribunal claim will soon need to pay.
It has confirmed that, from summer 2013, there will be two levels of fees applied to claimants wishing to pursue a claim.
- Level 1 claims, which will relate to claims for unpaid wages or redundancy pay, will cost the claimant a total of £390 – made up of an initial fee of £160 and a further £230 if the matter proceeds to a hearing.
- Level 2 claims, which will relate to claims for unfair dismissal, equal pay or discrimination, will cost the claimant an initial £250 to issue the claim and a further £950 if the matter proceeds to a hearing before the Tribunal.
Alternatively, if a claimant chooses not to issue a claim to the Tribunal, they may opt to pursue judicial mediation, which would cost a total of £600 – compared to the potential cost of £1,200 to pursue a level 2 claim.
It has also been confirmed that people on low incomes will be able to seek an exemption from the fees under the same remission system which already exists for court users who pay fees to use the civil courts.
The government has stated that by introducing the fees it will reduce the burden on the taxpayer, and will ensure that the annual cost of escalating workplace disputes to tribunals (which is believed to exceed £84 million) will be distributed more fairly.
Various commentators have stated that the introduction of fees will reduce the number of speculative claims made against employers, which have seen a steep rise in recent years. However, Brendan Barber, the general secretary of the TUC, has expressed his concerns that the introduction of fees will restrict access to justice for many and has stated that, “It is vital that working people have fair access to justice, but introducing fees for tribunals will deter many – particularly those on low wages – from taking valid claims to court. Many of the UK’s most vulnerable workers will simply be priced out of justice”.