News

Government consultation on fee remissions for the Employment Tribunal

  • April 24, 2013
  • By Hunters Law

On 18th April 2013, the Government published a consultation paper on fee remissions for the English Courts and Tribunals, including the Employment Tribunal.

Currently, a claimant can bring a claim or an appeal to the Employment Tribunal for free.  The new fee structure, which will be rolled out in the summer, is a two-stage fee charging structure that requires claimants to pay an “Issue Fee” when they submit their claim to the Tribunal (£160 or £250 depending on the complexity of the claim) and a “Hearing Fee” (£230 or £950), which is payable prior to a Hearing. The aim of introducing fees is to try and encourage businesses and workers to mediate or settle a dispute, rather than go to a full Tribunal Hearing.

To protect claimants who cannot afford to pay any or part of these fees, the Government has proposed a two-stage test, based on the claimant’s disposable capital and monthly income, to determine whether any proportion of the fees should be remitted. The fee remission system is aimed at ensuring access to justice for those claimants who cannot afford to pay any or part of the new fees, and to standardise the approach to fee remissions throughout the Courts and Tribunals Service; whether it will achieve those objectives is questionable.

The first test to determine whether an applicant is eligible for a fee remission is based on an assessment of their household disposable capital, including savings, investments, stocks and shares, but excluding the claimant’s main residence and/or any pension fund.  The amount of the fee determines the maximum disposable capital a claimant can hold before being considered eligible for a fee remission, for example the remission of any fee up to £1,000 would be limited to claimants (or potential claimants) with disposable capital of not more than £3,000.

If the claimant passes the first “disposable capital” test, the next test will consider whether they should receive a full waiver of the fee, make a contribution to the fee or pay the fee in full.  The second stage of the test is based on the claimant’s household income.  A claimant will be granted a full fee waiver where they can demonstrate that their household income is below a certain threshold.  The cohabitation status of the claimant will be relevant to this assessment, as will whether they have any children.

With the impending introduction of the new two-stage fee charging structure later this summer, the Employment Tribunal has seen a marked increase in the number of claimants commencing proceedings ahead of its introduction.  Far from discouraging employees from commencing proceedings, the changing fee structure is positively encouraging claimants to start their claim while it is still free to do so.  While the Government consultation on fee remissions may offer some comfort to employees, the impending introduction of fees in the Employment Tribunals is already affecting employers.

If you would like any further information, please contact our Employment Team.

 

Related News

Jan 14, 2022
Gregor Kleinknecht comments on the General Court clarifying the law on rights of representation before EU courts in Managing IP
Nov 30, 2021
Stephen Morrall and Aman Khokhar explore how employers can best determine worker status in People Management
Nov 17, 2021
Richard Baxter examines whether Brexit creates uncertainty for online software sales agents in Reports Legal
Nov 02, 2021
Gregor Kleinknecht and Anastassia Dimmek examine the lessons learned from the cancellation of Banksy trademarks in Lawyer Monthly
Oct 20, 2021
Partner Richard Baxter is attending the FT Live’s The Banking Revolution
Oct 18, 2021
Richard Baxter and Constance Tait discuss considerations for dispute resolution and M&A scenarios
Sep 29, 2021
Richard Baxter outlines lessons for business owners from an abortive company sale and purchase transaction
Sep 22, 2021
Stephen Morrall examines worker status in the gig economy in Economy Standard
Jul 22, 2021
Gregor Kleinknecht and Constance Tait examine the impact on trademark litigation and provide 10 tips on navigating the post-Brexit era in Managing IP
Jul 16, 2021
Gregor Kleinknecht and Anastassia Dimmek examine the growing threat of zombie firms in Lawyer Monthly

© Hunters Law LLP 2022 | Privacy NoticeLegal & Regulatory | Cookies Policy | Complaints Procedure.

Hunters Law LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (number 657218)