Introduction of Fees in UK Employment Tribunal Claims

by Dechert LLP
Contact

The Government has now announced the implementation date - Monday 29 July 2013 - for the introduction of the payment of fees in relation to Employment Tribunal claims. A claimant will be required to pay an “issue fee” on submitting the claim and a “hearing fee” prior to the full hearing of that claim. There will be two levels of fee. There will be a £160 issue fee and a £230 hearing fee for claims for unlawful deduction from wages and certain other claims for sums due on termination of employment e.g. redundancy payments. There will be a £250 issue fee and a £950 hearing fee for unfair dismissal, discrimination and equal pay claims. This OnPoint summarises the new fees regime.

Executive Summary

The Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeals Tribunal Fees Order 2013 will introduce fees into the employment tribunal system this summer. HM Courts & Tribunals Service has announced an intended implementation date of 29 July 2013 when a claimant will have to pay a fee both before issuing their claim and then at a later stage prior to the full hearing. Some of the key detail about how the fees regime will operate in practice is found in the newly revised Employment Tribunals Rules of Procedure, which also comes into force on 29 July 2013 (as Schedule 1 to the Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2013).

The purpose of introducing fees is to relieve some of the financial burden on the taxpayer by requiring users of the employment tribunals (and the EAT) to make a contribution to the cost of the service that they receive, where they can afford to do so. The Government expects to recoup approximately 33% of the tribunals’ costs with the current fee levels. The purpose of having a dual charging point system is to provide a second opportunity for parties to settle.

It is not yet clear what effect this will have on the tribunal system or the number of claims brought each year. While some commentators have predicted that the introduction of fees will deter claimants from bringing claims, others foresee no substantial impact on the number of claims being brought as claimants turn instead to alternative forms of funding such as contingency fee arrangements or legal expenses insurance. A separate objective of the new regime is to encourage early settlement of disputes. However, this objective may be undermined by when the hearing fee is due to be paid. Respondents may delay entering into meaningful settlement negotiations until a later stage in proceedings than might otherwise be the case to see if the hearing fee is paid, thereby indicating that the claimant has both the intention and means to actively pursue their case to a full hearing.

Procedural Impact

Only claims or appeals that are submitted on or after the implementation date will attract fees.

The Order requires a claimant to pay a fee at two stages in proceedings - initially when the claimant presents a claim form to an employment tribunal (the “issue fee”) and then at a second point prior to the hearing (the “hearing fee”).

The key procedural points to note about fees are:

  • A tribunal will reject a claim if it is not accompanied by a tribunal fee or remission application.
  • Where a party has not paid the relevant tribunal fee or presented a remission application, the tribunal will send the defaulting party a notice specifying a date for payment of the tribunal fee/presentation of the remission application.
  • If the required payment is not made then:
    • If the fee is payable in relation to a claim, the claim is dismissed.
    • Where the fee is payable in relation to an application, the application is dismissed without further order.
    • Where the tribunal fee is payable in relation to judicial mediation, the judicial mediation will not take place. 
  • In the event that the dismissal is of a claim or response, a tribunal does have the power to reinstate any claim or response.

The date for payment of the hearing fee will be set out in the tribunal’s notification of the hearing date.

A tribunal has the power to make an order that a tribunal fee be reimbursed by the opposing party where a party has paid a tribunal fee in respect of a claim, counter-claim or application and that claim, counterclaim or application is decided in whole, or in part, in favour of that party.

Types of Claims

No type of claim will be exempt from fees, irrespective of whether the claim includes a complaint of discrimination, is of low value or even is a claim where no financial remedy is sought.

Different fees will apply to different types of claims. In summary:

  • Type A claims are supposed to require little or no pre-hearing work and be resolved in one hour at a hearing (e.g. claims of unauthorised deductions from wages, breach of contract, failure to pay redundancy payment or a complaint that the employer has failed to permit time off for trade union activities).
  • Type B claims are all other claims and typically take longer to case manage and have longer hearings (e.g. claims of unlawful discrimination, whistleblowing or unfair dismissal).

Fees Due

The fee due will depend upon whether the claim is a Type A claim or a Type B claim. However, where a claimant lodges a claim which contains a number of different types of complaints, the fee due will be that which relates to the highest level claim, so that a claimant will only have to pay one fee.

Action

Issue Fee (£)

Hearing Fee (£)

To be paid by

Type A claim

160

230

Claimant

Type B claim

250

950

Claimant

EAT appeal

400

1,200

Appellant 


The issue fee and hearing fee also vary depending upon whether there are multiple claimants bringing the action. 

 

 

2 – 10 claimants

11 – 200 claimants

Over 200 claimants

Type A

Type B

Type A

Type B

Type A

Type B

Issue Fee (£)

320

500

640

1,000

960

1,500

Hearing Fee (£)

460

1,900

920

3,800

1,380

5,700


However, the issue fee and hearing fee payable will be capped at the amount equal to the sum of the fees which the individual claimants would have been liable to pay as single claimants.

Certain applications will also attract fees, which the applicant must pay.

Application

Type A Claim (£)

Type B Claim (£)

To be paid by

Review of a default judgment

100

100

Respondent

Review of a judgment following a final hearing

100

350

Applicant

Dismissal following withdrawal

60

60

Respondent

Counterclaim

160

-

Respondent

 
Finally, the Respondent will be liable for a fee of £600 where parties agree to pursue judicial mediation.

Payment of Fees

It will be possible to pay the relevant fees via the Ministry of Justice's online service or via the centralised processing centres (of which there will be one for England and Wales and one for Scotland). This will affect the way claim forms are submitted. Following the implementation date, a claimant will submit an online ET1 with the fee payment being taken online or they will need to present their ET1 and payment to the appropriate central office by post. After the fee has been paid/remission approved, the ET1 will be forwarded to the appropriate local tribunal.

Remissions

The HMCTS civil court remissions system will be extended to the tribunal system and made available for those individuals who cannot afford to pay part or all of any fee. As a general rule, claimants will be deemed to be able to pay unless they can demonstrate that they are unable to do so.

To be eligible for remission an individual claimant must provide proof that he or she is either in receipt of certain permitted state benefits or that his or her household income is below a certain threshold.

The Ministry of Justice is currently reviewing the remissions system and has proposed to introduce a two stage test for claimants seeking relief. Consultation on this recently closed and further detail will follow in due course.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Dechert LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Dechert LLP
Contact
more
less

Dechert LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.
Feedback? Tell us what you think of the new jdsupra.com!