Fees in GB TribunalPosted in : HR Updates on 15 January 2015 Issues covered:
Helen O'Brien writes:
In July 2013, fees were introduced for bringing claims to a British employment tribunal. The reason the Coalition Government did this was to transfer some of the approximate £84m cost of running the ETs and the EAT from the taxpayer to those who use the system. It was also part of a wider Government review of employment law, designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the tribunals. In addition, it sought to encourage employers and employees to resolve workplace disputes at the earliest opportunity.
Who Pays the Fees?
The basis of the fee structure is that fees are paid in advance by the party seeking the order. The claimant will be required to pay an issue fee to start his or her claim and a hearing fee if the claim proceeds to a full tribunal hearing.
If the issue and hearing fees are not paid, the claim will not be able to start or continue in the tribunal. The tribunal will have the power to order the unsuccessful party to reimburse the fees paid by the successful party.
What are the Fee Levels?
There is a two-tier system — straightforward claims for unlawful deduction of wages and redundancy payments are known as “Type A” claims, and more complex claims such as discrimination are “Type B” claims.
The fees for each type are as follows:
1. CLAIM “TYPE A”:
- Issue Fee - £160
- Hearing Fee - £230
- Total - £390
2. CLAIM “TYPE B”:
- Issue Fee - £250
- Hearing Fee - £950
- Total - £1,200
There are also fees for reviews (£100 or £350, depending on the type of claim), for mediation by an employment judge (£600), counterclaims (£160) and applications to dismiss (£60).
In the EAT, the fees are £400 to lodge an appeal and £1200 for a full hearing.
What Happens if a Claimant Lodges a Claim with a Number of Different Types of Complaint?
The fee payable will be that which relates to the highest level claim. For example, a claim containing a complaint of unpaid wages (“Type A”) and a complaint of unfair dismissal (“Type B”) would be charged one fee, at the higher “Type B” rate.
In cases where more than one claimant is bringing the same claim (to be known as “fee groups”), there is a fee structure that reflects the number of claims. This is set out below.
1. “TYPE A” CLAIMS – Number of claimants in fee group
- 2-10 (2 x single fee) - £320
- 11-200 (4 x single fee) - £640
- Over 200 (6 x single fee) - £960
- 2-10 (2 x single fee) - £460
- 11-200 (4 x single fee) - £920
- Over 200 (6 x single fee) - £1,380
2. “TYPE B” CLAIMS – Number of claimants in fee group
- 2-10 (2 x single fee) - £500
- 11-200 (4 x single fee) - £1,000
- Over 200 (6 x single fee) - £1,500
- 2-10 (2 x single fee) - £1,900
- 11-200 (4 x single fee) - £3,800
- Over 200 (6 x single fee) - £5,700
What if a Person Cannot Afford to Pay?
The remissions scheme (which presently applies to proceedings in the civil courts in England and Wales) will be extended to protect access to the tribunal for those who cannot afford to pay a fee. In the event that a remission application is successful, the whole (or any part of) the fee will be waived.
How are Fees Paid?
Fee payments are made via the online service or collected through centralised processing centres (one in England and Wales, and one in Scotland). Remission applications will also be centralised within the centralised processing centres.
Latest Fee Developments
Two separate legal challenges have been launched asserting that the introduction of fees in Great Britain is in breach of EU law, and a judicial review of the decision to implement fees was granted in both cases. A judgment in one of the cases is expected imminently. In the meantime applicable fees must be paid but, if either legal challenge is successful, the legislation requiring tribunal claimants to pay fees will be removed. The Government has confirmed that if this occurs, HM Courts & Tribunals Service will make arrangements for the reimbursement of all fees paid.This article is correct at 21/10/2015
The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.