Thursday, 15 December 2011

Fees introduced for employment tribunal claims

The Government has unveiled proposals to introduce fees for employment tribunals in the latest stage of a wider push to overhaul the regime for labour disputes. The details however are hazy with The Government suggesting that low income families will be exempt from the new fee. As the large proportion of workers who apply to a tribunal have been dismissed it is unclear how many claimants will actually have to pay.....

The Ministry of Justice on Wednesday (14 December) unveiled two funding models for consultation. In the first, a fee of £150-£250 would be levied to begin a claim, with an additional cost of £250-£1,250 if the case goes to a hearing and no limit to the maximum award.

Under the second proposal, a single fee of £200-£600 would be charged, limiting the maximum award to £30,000. Those seeking greater compensation would have the option of paying an additional £1,750 fee.

More than 200,000 employment tribunal claims were made in the 2010-11 period, a 44% increase against 2008-09 according to Government figures, costing the taxpayer £84m.

Justice minister Jonathan Djanogly said this expense is "not sustainable", adding: "Our proposed fees will encourage businesses and workers to settle problems earlier, through non-tribunal routes like conciliation or mediation and we want to give businesses - particularly small businesses - the confidence to create new jobs without fear of being dragged into unnecessary actions."

Fee waivers will be available for low-income workers "to protect access to justice".