The introduction of fees for claims to the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal came into effect on 29 July 2013. All employees making an Employment Tribunal claim against their employers must now pay a fee to lodge their claim.
If cases go to tribunal, a further £230 will need to be paid in respect of Type A cases and £950 in respect of Type B cases.
If you wish to appeal a tribunal decision, there will be a lodgement fee of £400 plus £1200 for a full appeal hearing.
As a result, we could see less employment claims going through the courts. However, employers should not be complacent. Claimants can apply for a fee remission if they are on benefits or a low income and pay nothing or a small percentage of the full amount. Given that one of the most common reasons for tribunal claims is unfair dismissal, a large percentage of claimants may well be unemployed, so the fee will not necessarily be a barrier.
The new Employment Tribunal rules mean that an application for the remission scheme has to be made at the same time as a Tribunal claim is being made.
These fees have been met with mixed responses, with a number of employers saying they will reduce the number and cost of frivolous claims. However groups representing claimants claim the introduction of fees will make it easier for companies to get away with treating their employees badly.
Whether the level of the fees is so high that they will discourage genuine claimants remains to be seen.