The Employment Tribunal has announced the new fee regime which
should come into force in the Summer of 2013.
The new fee structure
Justice will now come at a price for those wishing to bring a
claim in the Employment Tribunal. The Government has stated that
their aim is not to deter claimants and the fees are being
introduced to assist with the cost of the Employment Tribunal
From Summer 2013, it is planned that claimants will need to pay
a fee of £160 or £250 when they issue their claim. In
addition, they will pay a further fee 4 to 6 weeks before the
hearing of £230 or £950. The sum will depend on the
type of claim (and not, as previously mooted, on the value of the
claim). The higher sum will always apply in unfair dismissal,
discrimination and equal pay claims. If there are multiple
claimants then a higher and different fee structure will apply.
There are additional fees for different applications which will
mainly affect the employer/respondent to a claim. An application
for a default judgement will cost £100 for the party making
the application. The commonly-used application to dismiss a claim
after settlement will cost £60. A counter-claim will cost
£160 and must be paid by the employer. An application for
mediation by an Employment Tribunal judge will cost an unappealing
£600 and must be paid by the employer while an application to
review the original Employment Tribunal's decision will cost
£100 or £350 depending on the type of claim.
Money will not be refunded even if the claim does not continue
to a full hearing (unless the Claimant can show that he could not
afford to pay all or part of the fees at the start). The respondent
must however pay back the fees incurred by the claimant if the
claimant wins the claim.
The Government has stated that it 'hopes' to introduce
the fees next Summer which does not give us any certainty. Whilst
employee groups are bitterly opposed to the introduction of the
fees, it seems unlikely that the fees will stop a determined
claimant. It may however encourage a vexatious claimant to think
twice before issuing his claim.
The cost of the fees will no doubt form part of any settlement
negotiations in light of the fact the fees will not be
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