Currently, bringing an employment tribunal (ET) claim is free of charge. However, the cost of running the ET service is £84 million per annum.
Earlier this year, as part of the Government’s Employment Law Review programme, the Ministry of Justice consulted on proposals to introduce fees for access to the ET and the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT). It has now published responses to the consultation, in the light of which it has outlined its conclusions and proposed next steps.
The amended fee structure for single claims to the ET is as follows:
- For level 1 claims (i.e. claims for sums due on termination of employment, such as unpaid wages, payment in lieu of notice, redundancy payments etc.) the issue fee will be £160 and the hearing fee will be £230; and
- For level 2 claims (i.e. claims relating to unfair dismissal, discrimination, equal pay claims and claims arising under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998) the issue fee will be £250 and the hearing fee will be £950.
The fee for bringing an appeal to the EAT will be £400 and the hearing fee will be £1,200.
The Government is seeking to introduce the system in summer 2013 and is committed to reviewing the fee structure once implemented.
Many people on low incomes will not be required to pay the full fees – under the same remission system that already exists for those who pay fees to use the civil courts’ service. The Government intends to review its use across both courts and tribunals and will publish a consultation later this year as part of a wider review required by the introduction of Universal Credit in late 2013.