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07 Oct 2015
From July 2013, anyone bringing a claim to an Employment Tribunal has had to pay fees of up to £250 to issue a claim and an additional fee of either £230 or £950 as a hearing fee. While these fees will be reimbursed by the employer if a claim is successful, the introduction of fees appears to have had a significant impact on the amount of claims being made.
New figures from the Ministry of Justice have revealed that employment tribunal claims in Wales have seen a significant drop of 50%. These figures come in the same year that fees were introduced for claims, with TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady saying that the fees have been a gift for Britain’s worst bosses.
This is how the stats breakdown;
The higher figure was probably boosted by people submitting claims before the introduction of the fee to avoid paying. However, these figures do suggest people may have been reluctant to bring a claim due to the fees.
Figures up to March 2015 show the trend continuing. If this continues, the drop from the year before fees were introduced would increase to 55%.
More straightforward cases, like unpaid wages or redundancy payments, are likely to attract lower fees, and there are reductions available to people on low incomes and with no savings but the stance from a Ministry of Justice spokesman was, “It is right that those who can afford to should make a contribution to the cost of employment tribunals.”
The UK Government is currently reviewing the impact of employment tribunal fees, in part to determine how successful the policy has been in maintaining access to justice. The outcome of the review will be published soon.
While these changes have clearly impacted on the amount of claims being made, if you have any questions regarding a possible claim, whether as an employee or a business owner, we can help you navigate the often complicated employment tribunal procedures.
Harding Evans is a trading name of Harding Evans LLP, a limited liability partnership, registered in England & Wales (registered number: OC311802), authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA number: 419663).