Fees in Employment Tribunals – bad news for both sides say DBS Law

Commenting on the introduction of fees for claimants at industrial tribunal Adrian Barnes Head of Employment at Birmingham Based DBS Law says:

“Today sees the introduction of fees in the employment tribunal, meaning that it can cost £350 just to lodge an ET1 if you feel that you have been unfairly dismissed. The Ministry of Justice believes that this is one way that the spiralling claims at tribunals can be reduced. I have my doubts, unions and insurance companies have already stated that they will be paying on behalf of their members and customers, but will they even need to?

“As with all things there is a failsafe to make sure that those unable to afford the cost will have a remission from the fees, therefore, those on benefits (job seekers, if you have just lost your job) will be able to lodge a remission application instead of the fee. The introduction of fees has added another layer of bureaucracy, which will take even more time and resources to attend. It remains to be seen if there is any reduction in spurious claims.

“There is also the issue that settlement of claims may be more difficult or expensive. A vast majority of all claims taken to the employment tribunal settle before the hearing. However, it is unlikely that any Respondent employer would want to settle before the Claimant has paid their hearing fee of £950, just in case they don’t go ahead. Of course, if the Claimant does pay the fees he is going to want to recoup those in any agreed settlement, adding £1200 to the settlement total.

“I cannot really see how either party is likely to benefit greatly from the proposed changes, however the Ministry of Justice will be adding to their coffers.”

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