THE government have advised they are trying to reduce the number of claims brought before employment tribunals by introducing fees for those using the service. These fees are due to be implemented in summer 2013.
Currently, bringing a claim before a tribunal is free of charge with the costs met by the taxpayer. The plan is to transfer some of the costs of running the service to those using it in the hope of reducing the annual £84million taxpayer bill. It’s also hoped the new fees will encourage greater use of mediation services for early resolution of disputes.
The government has announced the following fee structure:
• Level 1 claims – generally for sums due on termination of employment, e.g. unpaid wages/payment in lieu of notice/redundancy - £160 issue fee, £230 hearing fee
• Level 2 claims – including unfair dismissal/discrimination/equal pay - £250 issue fee, £950 hearing fee
• Judicial mediation – up to £600
• Application to dismiss a claim - £60
• Employment Appeal Tribunal – £400 to lodge an appeal and £1,200 hearing fee Those on low incomes can apply for exemption from the planned fees but it is not yet clear exactly who will qualify for this.
Figures published recently by the Tribunals Service show the number of employment tribunal claims made dropped 15 per cent between April 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012 compared to the previous year. There were 186,300 claims received in 2011-2012 compared to 218,100 in 2010-2011. In 2009-2010 there were 236,100 claims, a sharp rise on the previous year’s total of 151,000 claims.