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Employment: Introduction Of Fees In The Employment Tribunal And Employment Appeals Tribunal

In July 2012 the government announced a new fees regime to be introduced in both the Employment Tribunal (ET) and Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT). Under the new proposals, a claimant will be required to pay an issue fee to start their claim in the ET and a further listing fee in advance of the full hearing. Other fees will be payable to make certain applications, or to bring a counterclaim. The government has stated that it intends to introduce the new fees regime in July 2013.

A Claimant will now be required to pay a fee at the issue of their claim (an issue fee). If the claim does proceed to a full Tribunal Hearing, the claimant will be required to pay a subsequent fee (a hearing fee), provisionally around four to six weeks before the hearing date. Tribunal judges will have a power to order the unsuccessful party to reimburse the fees paid by the successful party, although this will be at the judge’s discretion rather than an automatic right. The level of the fee will depend on the type of claim. There are two types of claim: Level 1 claims and Level 2 claims, which are as follows:

Level 1 claims comprise more straightforward and lower value claims, generally for sums due on termination of employment (such as unpaid wages, redundancy payments and payments in lieu of notice), which are less costly to administer and adjudicate;

Level 2 claims comprise all other claims, including unfair dismissal, discrimination, equal pay and whistleblowing claims.

The Government consultation proposed that where a claimant submitted more than one type of jurisdictional complaint, the fee payable would be that which relates to the highest level claim.

The fees are as follows: Level 1 claim, issue fee £160 and hearing fee £230; Level 2  claim, issue fee £250 and hearing fee £950.

As proposed in the consultation, fees in the Employment Appeal Tribunal will mirror the two-stage structure to be implemented in the Employment Tribunals. There will be a fee of £400 to issue an appeal (an appeal fee) and a fee of £1,200 to proceed to a full hearing (a hearing fee).

Please speak to Charles Avens of Druces LLP’s Employment Law team for more information.