Employment Tribunal fees to be introduced
Many of our clients are forced to deal with vexatious claims which are clearly a try on by employees looking to exploit the cost of defending tribunal claims. One of the problems is that it costs nothing to bring a claim. You simply fill in an online form and click a button. One of the Government’s proposals is to change this by introducing fees for lodging tribunal claims in 2013, some say in April, others suggest that the proposal will take effect in December 2013.
Rumours are that:
- Employees will have to pay £250 to lodge a claim.
- They will have to pay £1,000 if a hearing is granted.
- Fees will be refunded if the employee wins.
- Employees on low income will be exempt.
It is suggested that the introducing of fees will help weed out the vexatious claims and therefore allow genuine claims of merit to get to tribunal more easily. We expect that there will still be claimants who are prepared to invest £250 for a chance to get a couple of thousand pounds as compensation, but by and large, the introducing of fees has to be a good idea. The tribunal system currently struggles to handle the current caseload – we have in the past couple of weeks had 2 cases which were pulled from the tribunal less than 24 hours before they were due to be heard due to the lack of judges which is inconvenient, not to mention costly, to all parties concerned.
Tribunals are trying to keep up though. We have just heard that there is a new listing procedure where 1 day tribunals will be listed within 16 weeks of the claim being lodged. It remains to be seen whether this actually works in practice.
Created 7 November 2011