The Government has announced the introduction of fees in Employment Tribunals. It was declared that Employment Tribunal fees would be applicable from the summer of 2013.
It has been said that these changes are to encourage employees to explore alternative dispute resolution such as mediation or Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).
Employment Tribunal fees are being introduced to enhance the flexibility for employers and employees, whilst protecting fairness. The Employment Tribunal fees have been set to filter through employment claims, with the introduction of fee claims.
The Employment Tribunal fee will be based on two levels, depending on the type of the complaint.
Level 1 will consist of claims for unpaid wages and holiday pay. The total cost for this will be £390 (£160 for the claim and £230 for the hearing). If the dispute is settled before the hearing, the fee will drop to £160.
Level 2 will consist of unfair dismissal, discrimination and detriment claims. The total cost for this will be £1,200 (£250 for the claim and £950 for the hearing).
From the summer of 2013, mediation by a Judge will cost £600 rather than £750, which was proposed in the 2011 meeting. The Employment Tribunal will have the capability to order the unsuccessful party to pay the fees incurred by successful party.
It seems that would-be claimants will have to think twice before investing funds in an employment claim and this will likely result in a decline in the number of low level employment claims.