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Law for Business

Knowhow - guidance - precedents

03 JUN 2013

Tribunals will charge fees for bringing employment claims from 29 July 2013


HM Courts & Tribunal Service has announced that the date for the implementation of fees into the employment tribunals and Employment Appeal Tribunal will be Monday 29 July 2013.

Subject to the necessary Parliamentary approvals, from this date all claims and appeals will be subject either to a fee or an application for fee remission. Currently, unlike the civil courts, an employee can bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal without incurring any fees at all. 

Under the draft Fees Order a claimant will have to pay £250 to issue a claim and £950 to attend the hearing for most types of claim (including unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistle blowing). Unlawful deductions and statutory redundancy payments will carry a lower fee (£160 for issue; £230 for hearing). Multiple claimants will have to pay a higher total issue depending on the type of claim and number of claimants.

However, under the remission scheme individuals can apply to be exempted from all or part of the fee; examples of the possible exemptions include:

  • Anyone on a qualifying benefit (such as income support or working tax credit);
  • Depending on whether they have a partner and/or children, anyone with a gross annual income below the applicable threshold (for example, less than £13,000 for a single individual with no children). Gross annual income is total income for the 12 months preceding the application, ignoring any excluded benefits such as disability or housing benefits; and
  • Anyone with disposable monthly income of £50 or less. This is calculated by deducting from an individual's current gross monthly income rent/mortgage payments, tax, childcare costs and living expenses of £315 plus £244 for each child and £159 for any partner. For those with a higher disposable monthly income, a percentage of the fee is payable on a sliding scale.

It remains to be seen whether the introduction of these fees with deter employees from bringing employment claims and how many will be exempt under the remission scheme. Given that claims lodged prior to 29 July will not be subject to any fees at all, it will be interesting to see whether the Tribunals see a surge in claims leading up to this date. 

Liz Timmins, Solicitor, Clarkslegal LLP
Tel: 020 7539 8065
Email: ltimmins@clarkslegal.com

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