Do new Tribunal Fees price employees out of Justice?

 

In July 2013 fees were introduced for employment claims brought in the Employment Tribunal. Claimants are now required to pay a £160 fee to issue their claim in the Tribunal, rising to £250 depending on the type of claim, with a further £230 or £950 if the case requires a Hearing. Since the introduction of fees, the volume of cases has dramatically reduced. The implementation of these fees has also resulted in legal challenges, which are on-going.

Those in favour of the fees argue that their introduction has been a success, believing they have discouraged weak and fictitious claims from being brought in the first place. However many are concerned that the dramatic reduction in cases is a result of it becoming too expensive for individuals to bring their claims and pursue justice. In reality the effects of the fees have probably landed somewhere in between with the individuals bringing claims being the most affected.

Further rules were brought in offering a support and mediation service through ACAS in May 2014. This was seen as an attempt to further reduce the amount of claims going to the Employment Tribunal by offering a support and mediation service through ACAS. The new rules mean that any claim (apart from a few limited exceptions) being brought in the Employment Tribunal must undergo ‘Early Conciliation’ with ACAS.

Early Conciliation is a free, independent, impartial and confidential service designed to help both employees and employers settle disputes without the need to go to Tribunal. It is though only of benefit to those few cases that are able to be settled, with those that cannot still being subject to the Tribunal fees.

These changes of the past two years mean that those employment law problems may face a much harder decision on whether or not to bring a claim or not due as they consider the expense of increased fees. This is why at Carr & Co Solicitors we offer advice to clients considering bringing claims through an initial £100 fixed fee appointment to review any employment issues. Any advice will detail your options going forward about how and where you can bring your claim with ourselves offering assistance (if required) throughout the process.

Please call anyone of our offices for more information regarding employment law.

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