Fees will be introduced in Employment Tribunals for the first time. The government is working towards an implementation date of the end of July 2013. A claimant will be required to pay in advance an “issue fee” on submitting a claim in an Employment Tribunal (ET) and a “hearing fee” before the full hearing. Fees will be paid online or through a centralised processing centre. Claimants will not be able to pay fees in person at individual ETs.
The amount of fee payable depends on the type of claim being brought. Type A claims are generally for sums due on termination of employment, for example, unpaid wages, unpaid redundancy payments and unpaid notice pay. Type B claims include those relating to unfair dismissal, discrimination, equal pay and whistleblowing claims. The fees are as follows:
|Fee Type||Issue Fee||Hearing Fee|
|Type A Claims||£160||£250|
|Type B Claims||£230||£950|
The fee payable will be that which relates to the highest type of claim being brought. For example, a claim containing a complaint of unpaid wages (type A claim) and a complaint of unfair dismissal (type B claim) would be charged one fee at the type B rate.
Where more than one claimant brings the same claim, the cost varies depending on the number of claimants. There are also other fees if a party wants to submit certain applications during the case. In addition, fees will be charged if either party wants to apply for a review of an ET’s decision or if they wish to appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT). These other fees are as follows:
|Review Default Judgement||Application to dismiss following settlement||Mediation by the judiciary||Counter-claim||Application for review|
|Appeal Fee||Hearing Fee||Total|
The sanction for the non-payment of issue fees and hearing fees appears to be that the claim will not be allowed to commence or continue. However, it is unclear whether this means the claim will be stayed or struck out. Hopefully this issue will be dealt with in the regulations due to come into force shortly. Further, an Employment Judge will have the power to order the unsuccessful party to reimburse the fees paid by the successful party.
The HM Courts and Tribunals Service remissions scheme will be available for claimants bringing proceedings both in the ET and the EAT if they meet the criteria showing that they are unable to afford a fee. The government is in the process of reviewing the remissions scheme.