As from 29 July 2013, individuals who want to take a claim to an employment tribunal will have to pay fees under new legislation now in place across the UK. Employees will now:
- pay between £160 to £250 to lodge a claim
- pay a charge of £230 to £950 if the case goes ahead to a tribunal hearing.
Claimants submitting claims in groups will have access to a cheaper fee structure if they choose to split the fee between them.
The fees form part of the Government’s plan to reduce the £74 million cost of running the current employment tribunal and appeal system. It is intended that the new rules will encourage businesses and workers to settle more disputes privately without resorting to a full court hearing.
The move has been both welcomed and criticised by different groups. The Forum of Private Business’s chief executive, Phil Orford, said: “Escalating workplace disputes to the tribunal stage is too easy an option for many employees. The burden on the employee is limited whilst employers are not only defending the case in question, but also the reputation of their business. Hopefully the introduction of fees will make claimants think more carefully before resorting to litigation.”