Review of Employment Tribunal fees

A review looking into the impact of the introduction of Employment Tribunal fees has now been published by the Ministry of Justice.

Background

Access to Employment Tribunals was free until July 2013, when fees were introduced for those bringing a claim. It has since been widely reported that introduction of the fees has resulted in a dramatic fall in the number cases being brought before Employment Tribunals. The change was been criticised by trade unions, who have called for the fees to be scrapped and have launched legal action.

The government also introduced a requirement that if a person wants to submit a claim to an Employment Tribunal, they must first refer the dispute to Acas to see if conciliation would be a suitable avenue to resolve the dispute (some exceptions do apply). The government made this requirement compulsory in May 2014.

Review

A review was announced to reflect on the effect of the fees and whether the new system fulfils the aims they set out. Broadly speaking, the objectives were to shift the costs from the taxpayer to those who use it, encourage the use of alternative mechanisms for dispute resolution and ensure access to justice is protected.

Review findings

The government is happy that the introduction of fees has met the desired objectives. They did concede that “While there is clear evidence that ET fees have discouraged people from bringing claims, there is no conclusive evidence that they have been prevented from doing so.”

They conceded that the fall in claims has been substantial and greater than anticipated, but they said that more people turned to Acas’ conciliation service. They also admitted that there were people whose dispute was not resolved through conciliation and who did not seek action in an Employment Tribunal due to the costs. However, they were firm that they did not believe that this necessarily meant that these people could not realistically afford to pay the fees. They attributed it to other factors, for example, people not being aware of the help available.

They also found that there was no proof that maternity and pregnancy discrimination claims had particularly felt the burn of the fees. As such, they decided that there was no reason for the fees for these claims to be slashed.

Action

The review concluded that three types of proceedings relating to payments from the National Insurance Fund would be exempt from fees.

Consultation

The review did highlight that some action was required to quell some concerns, therefore it has launched a consultation proposing reforms. In particular, it focuses on broadening access to the Help with Fees scheme, which helps provide access to tribunals to those on low incomes who without help would not be able to bring a claim.

The consultation will run until the 14th March 2017.

Director of Legal Services

James Tamm

Whether you’re facing an immediate challenge or just want the reassurance of an expert second opinion, we’re here to offer clear, commercial advice so that you can focus on what you do best.

Our live Client satisfaction rating is currently:

Last Updated:

Urgent Issue?

Why not take a look through our library of carefully created Employment Law documents and templates to see if we have what you need?

Let's start talking on 0345 226 8393 or complete the form below.

More From EW

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Combating coronavirus | FREE advice and resources for employers

Our Coronavirus Advice Hub is open now. Get instant access to regularly updated guidance, sample policies, template risk assessments and more.
 
Click to explore what’s available.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Hi, how can we help?
Click the button below to chat to an expert.

Is Your Business Based in Scotland?

Go straight to our free sector-specific Risk Assessment Templates for Scottish organisations…
 
Click to explore what’s available.
Error: Embedded data could not be displayed.
Read our Privacy Policy.