The Ministry of Justice has launched a consultation proposing to introduce small fees of £55 in the Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal. The Government’s aim is to improve His Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service, and reduce the cost to the taxpayer.
The proposal is to introduce a one-off, “modest” fee of £55 for bringing a claim in the Employment Tribunal, or for submitting an appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal. The fee will cover the entire life of the claim or appeal, and there will be no further fee for the hearing (or any other stage of the proceedings).
The same fee will be paid regardless of the type of claim. Where one claim is brought by multiple claimants, the total fee will still be £55 (meaning that it can be shared between the claimants). A ‘Help with Fees’ remission scheme will also be established to provide support for individuals with low income and savings; the scheme will provide either a full or partial fee remission to any eligible applicants who cannot afford to pay the fees.
This news comes after fees were previously introduced in 2013, but scrapped by the Supreme Court in 2017. The Ministry of Justice says it has taken this into account, and wants to make sure that the fees currently being proposed are proportionate and affordable. The fees will go towards the running costs of the Employment Tribunals, and it is estimated that they could generate between £1.3 million to £1.7 million a year from 2025/2026.
The consultation is open until 25 March 2024 and can be found here and here.
Nick Benton comments: “The Government’s proposals are a lot more straightforward when compared to the previous fee system from 2013 to 2017 (which resulted in an approximate 60-70% drop in Employment Tribunal cases).The proposed fee of £55 does not feel so high that it would bar access to justice, but may be high enough to encourage more claimants to try and settle their complaints at an early stage through ACAS, avoiding the need to bring an Employment Tribunal claim.”
If you have any questions about the Government’s consultation, or need assistance with an Employment Tribunal claim or appeal, please contact a member of the team here.
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