The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has launched a consultation into the proposed reintroduction of modest fees in the Employment Tribunals (ET) and Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT).
With full details available at https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/introducing-fees-employment-tribunals-eat, it states that the aim is to contribute to the continuous improvement of the Courts and Tribunals Service and to reduce the cost to the taxpayer to fund these services.
The proposal is to introduce “modest fees” for claimants to bring a claim in the ET and appellants bringing an appeal in the EAT.
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Mike Freer, said: “The Ministry of Justice has carefully considered the 2017 Supreme Court ruling on the previous approach to fees in the Employment Tribunals and has endeavoured to ensure that the fees proposed in this consultation are proportionate and affordable, in line with the judgment.”
As with other court and tribunal jurisdictions, he went on, those who cannot afford to pay the proposed fees will be supported by the Government’s fee remission scheme, Help with Fees (HwF).
In addition, modest fees may incentivise parties to settle their disputes early through ACAS without the need for claims to be brought to an Employment Tribunal, the MoJ argues.
The proposal is to introduce a £55 issue fee that is payable by the claimant on bringing a claim to the Employment Tribunal with the same fee charged in the EAT, payable per judgment, decision, direction or order of an ET being appealed.
The deadline for responding to this consultation is 25 March 2024.
HRInform – Jan-24
Our HR Comment: Proposal to bring back fees in Employment Tribunals and the EAT | Consensus HR – Herts Beds.
Matthew Chilcott, FCIPD, ACEL, Owner of Consensus HR comments: “This is a very interesting article and the information / link provided by the Government shows some detailed information since the previous introduction of fees was trialled from July 2013 to July 2017 and characterised claims in two different ways:
‘Type A’ or ‘Type B’ claims different fees payable dependent on whether the claim was a Type A or Type B claim. Type A claims (which covered simple disputes such as unpaid holiday pay) attracted an issue fee of £160 and a hearing fee of £230, totalling £390 in fees. Type B claims (which covered more complex disputes such as discrimination) attracted an issue fee of £250 and a hearing fee of £950, totalling £1200 in fees. The EAT attracted a £400 issue fee and a £1200 hearing fee, totalling £1600 in fees.
A proposed fee of fee £55 is generally seen as affordable for claimants and appellants and we wait to see if this progresses with the current long waiting times.”
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