13 June 2012
The Ministry of Justice has published the results of its consultation on the introduction of fees in employment tribunals. You can read the press release, but I recommend reading the Conclusion at pages 60 and 61 of the full response.
The changes are intended to be implemented in summer 2013. The press release makes it clear that the purpose of introducing fees is to lower the cost of the employment tribunal system to the taxpayer – and the MoJ abandons the previous rationale that it was about reducing the number of weak claims to help business.
Here are the key points:-
Level 1 claims (the very straightforward ones such as unlawful deductions – there is a very long list in the Response Document) – £160 issue fee; £230 hearing fee
Level 2 claims (pretty much everything else) – £250 issue fee; £950 hearing fee
Employment Appeal Tribunal – £400 appeal fee; £1,200 hearing fee
There are several other fees, eg £60 for an application to dismiss following settlement and £600 for judicial mediation
The response paper states, quite openly, that these fees do not cover the actual cost of running the employment tribunal system and the government is committed to reviewing the fee structure once it is implemented.
The above text was authored by Daniel Barnett of Employment Law Services. Daniel thanks Jibin Philip, assistant solicitor at the Police Federation of England and Wales, for alerting him to this issue.
The IER has long been warning of the detrimental effects of regressive changes to employment tribunal law. As well as responding to the government’s consultation on the proposals, we have argued that the tribunal process provides minimum protection to workers, rather than being a burden on business; that this is an ideological issue rather than an economic one; and that the tribunal system fails workers enough as it is.
The government originally claimed to be bringing in employment tribunal fees to dissuade vexatious claims, now they say it is to reduce the cost of the system. We know it is neither. This is yet another ideological attack driven by the nasty party and designed to weaken employment rights for ordinary workers.
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