29th June 2016
Review of Tribunal Fees Published
On 20th June 2016 the House of Commons Justice Committee published a report on the impact of the changes to fees in the Employment Tribunal and other courts.
The conclusion of the report is that the principle of litigants contributing to the costs of operating courts and tribunals is not objectionable. However, the introduction of fees at such a level requires particular care and strong justification.
Since the introduction of Employment Tribunal Fees in July 2013, the number of claims has decreased by 70%. The fee system splits claims into ‘Type A’ and ‘Type B’ claims. The fees for ‘Type B’ claims are higher as they are more complex and time consuming for the Employment Tribunal. The Committee has concluded that the introduction of the fees has had an adverse impact on access to justice for claims with merit.
The report recommends that the following should take place:-
- The Government should publish the information which they have collated as part of the post-implementation review of Employment Tribunal Fees.
- The level of fees should be reduced
- The distinction between ‘Type A’ and ‘Type B’ claims should be replaced by a single fee structure, a three-tier structure, or by a system setting out the fee level as a proportion of the amount claimed, with the fee being waived if the fee is below a certain level.
- For the fee remission system, the disposable capital and monthly income threshold should be increased and no more than one fee remission application should be required.
- Special consideration should be given to the position of women alleging maternity or pregnancy discrimination.
The review, which is likely to please many potential litigants within the Employment Tribunal system, has followed much controversy surrounding the imposition of fees.