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Employment Law

Employment Tribunal Fees

General

Since their introduction, there was no fee payable for accessing the employment tribunal system. However, this changed on the 29th July 2013 with the introduction of fees for not only the lodging of a claim but also for the certain other stages of the claim of a claim. There are also fees due when parties appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

The introduction of fees for raising employment tribunal claims has been a contentious issue. It has met with much criticism from trade unions who believe the introduction of fees are an attack on employees’ rights. On the other hand, many small businesses and employers feel it will reduce the number of speculative and frivolous claims made against them by employees chancing their luck. One commentator has even suggested that the introduction of the new system may actually increase the value of settlements offered for low value claims since someone who has paid to raise an action is less likely to settle unless their outlay in raising the claim is more than covered. In addition, there are fee waivers protecting those who are either in receipt of benefits or are on a low income and cannot afford to pay, therefore the new system is not as draconian as some would lead you to believe.

There is a pending legal challenge against the introduction of fees. This case will not affect the fee structure at present. If the legal challenge is successful any fees paid in the intervening period will be reimbursed by HM Courts & Tribunals Service. Our own view is that the legal challenge is likely to be unsuccessful.

Fees are payable for cases registered on or after 29th of July 2013 (relevant date).

The Fees

The fact sheet issued about the new fee structure states that claims are grouped into either ‘Type A’ or ‘Type B’ fee rates which reflect the resources required to deal with these claims. So, generally claims concerned with non-payment of wages, refusal to allow time off etc. will fall under Type A and be charged at a lower rate, and more complex claims grounded in discrimination, unfair dismissal etc. will be subject to the higher fees as Type B claims.

Some of the main fees are as follows:

Fee Type

Type A

Type B

Issue fee

 

£160 £250
Hearing fee

 

£230 £950
Review Default Judgement

 

£100 £100
Application to dismiss following settlement
£60 £60
Mediation by judiciary

 

£160
Counterclaim

 

£160

Claims that concern different complaints for example, claims for non-payment of wages and discrimination, would be charged one fee for each fee type encountered in the tribunal process. The type of fee charged will be the most expensive one, therefore in our example the fees payable would be at the rate of Type B.

Here are some common claim types (taken from the T435 form):

Claim

Type

Breach of contract
Type A

 

Redundancy pay
Type A

 

Unauthorised deductions (Formerly Wages Act)

 

Type A
Written pay statement

 

Type A
Written statement of reasons for dismissal

 

Type A
Written statement of terms and conditions

 

Type A
Detriment for enforcing national minimum wage

 

Type B
Discrimination on ground of Sex

 

Type B
Discrimination on grounds of Age

 

Type B
Discrimination on grounds of Disability

 

Type B
Discrimination on grounds of Race

 

Type B
Discrimination on grounds of Religion or Belief

 

Type B
Discrimination on grounds of Sexual Orientation

 

Type B
Part Time Workers Regulations
Type B

 

Redundancy – failure to inform and consult
Type B

 

Suffer a detriment/unfair dismissal – pregnancy
Type B

 

Transfer of an undertaking – failure to inform and consult (TUPE)
Type B

 

Unfair dismissal
Type B

 

Working Time Directive
Type B

 

 

For claims submitted together by more than one person on one form the fees will be charged differently. The fee will be cheaper and can be split between the claimants. They will also still have access the remission scheme.

In the Employment Appeal tribunal the fee to lodge an appeal is £400 and £1,200 to call a full hearing.

The new system does not guarantee that a successful claim will result in the fees being imposed against the losing party, though this is at the presiding judge’s discretion. Therefore, any compensation awarded could potentially be swallowed up by the fees. It is early days yet however and we will have to wait and see how this works out in practice.

Remission system

A system of fee waivers and reductions will operate so that those who cannot afford to pay the full fees can still gain access to the employment tribunals.

The remission system has 3 parts:

  1. Remission 1: you will receive full remission if you are in receipt of certain benefits, for example, income-based job seeker’s allowance.
  2. Remission 2: you will receive full remission if your gross annual income is less than a specified amount depending on how many children you have and if you are a part of a couple. Your partner’s income, if you have one, will be taken into account.
  3. Remission 3: you will receive full or partial remission based on your monthly disposable income (the money you receive and spend monthly). The amount that will be remitted is based on a pre-set sliding scale. If you have a partner then your partner’s income will also be taken into account.

It is likely as part of the new fee structuring that you will be required to pay more than one fee. Therefore each fee that you encounter throughout your case will require a new remission application. Your application for remission may be refused if you do not supply the required supporting information or they think your claim is false. It is important to bear in mind that the time limit for your claim will still apply. You may also be asked to provide additional supporting information for your remission claim.

Submitting a Claim

Under the new system when submitting an employment tribunal claim you will now be required to send your claim or appeal along with the fee for lodging the claim (or application for remission). There will be three available methods of submitting a claim:

  1. Online
  2. Post
  3. Hand delivered

Submitting a claim online will be the convenient option for many. If you choose this method of submitting a claim the lodging fee will be payable via credit or debit card. If you decide to request a remission then you will be required to complete an electronic copy of the remission application and post this to the Glasgow office (the central office dealing with all Scottish employment tribunal claims) along with the appropriate evidence. It is not possible to send your claim and fee by post to your local or any other employment tribunal office. It is however possible to deliver by hand an employment tribunal claim and fee to your local tribunal office.

There is no change to the time limits for making a claim to the employment tribunal because the fee payment or filling of form for remission should not cause a claimant to miss the time limit.

For most employment tribunal claims there is a time limit for lodging the claim of three months. This means that the period between the incident occurring and a claimant bringing a claim must not be more than three months.

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