Enforcing Employment Law Rights to Cost
The Government have announced that they will introduce fee for claims in employment tribunals & employment appeal tribunals.
The fees are due to be introduced in the summer of 2013, and these will come in two forms, and at two levels: an issue fee – £160 for “Level 1”, £250 for “Level 2” – and a hearing fee – £230 or £950; there will be higher fees for multiple claims.
Level 1 claims – £160 to issue a claim, and £230 to proceed to a hearing – will be for the most basic claims, cases where a hearing will often deal with the dispute within an hour’s hearing. These will include unpaid wages, pay in lieu of notice (PILON), failure to make redundancy payments, and failure to provide a Statement of Particulars.
Level 2 claims will require the payment of higher fees – £250 to issue a claim, and £950 to proceed to a hearing – for other claims, cases that would typically last at least one day. These include unfair dismissal, discrimination cases, and some claims under TUPE.
Other fees will be payable, including for a review of a default judgment (£100), and a review of a decision (£100 or £350), and these will often be payable by the employer.
(One claim that doesn’t appear to have been covered yet is where there is a failure by a transferor (old business owner) to provide the transferee (the new employer) with employee liability information – a rare type of claim, provided by Regulation 12 of the TUPE Regulations, that involves two employers. But then as the “fees will be tailored to encourage businesses and workers to mediate [£600 if done by the judiciary] or settle a dispute”, perhaps a fee won’t be necessary given no would be involved in the claim.)
Fees will also be applied to appeals to the Employment Appeals Tribunal: £400 to appeal, and £1200 for the hearing.
Reimbursement of the Fees to Deal with a Claim
The new procedures will also provide for a discretionary power that results in the party who ultimately causes the employment tribunals to be used bearing the cost. As there may be occasions “in which it is not appropriate for such an award to be made”, this decision will rest with employment tribunal judges.
This should deter unreasonable or serial claimants, and will be additional to the option to pursue costs.
See the Ministry of Justice press release, or for a summary of the fees click here, and a draft schedule of claims & the fees due for them can be found here; the full report (77 pages) is available on the Justice. gov.uk website.