Employment Tribunals – Recent and Future Developments

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2014 at 10:08 pm

Employment Tribunals – Recent and Future Developments

Introduction of Fees

Most clients will now be aware that in order to transfer some of the estimated £85m annual cost of running the Employment Tribunal system from the taxpayer in general to those who actually use the system, the Government introduced a fee structure for any new claims lodged after 31st July 2013. The fees, which are payable in advance by the party lodging the claim are split into two types:

“Type A” claims – relatively straightforward claims such as unlawful deductions from wages, unpaid redundancy payments etc
“Type B” claims – more complex claims such as unfair dismissal, discrimination, equal pay etc
The fee structure for each type of claim is split into two parts, an Issue Fee and a Hearing Fee. The level of fees are as follows:

Type A Issue Fee – £160 Hearing Fee – £230 Total – £390
Type B Issue Fee – £250 Hearing Fee – £950 Total – £1200
There are also other fees for things such as mediation by a judge, case reviews and where multiple claimants are involved.

The effect of the introduction of the fees was exactly as anticipated in that there was a surge of applications being lodged just prior to 31st July, and then a significant reduction in claims immediately afterwards. Provisional figures just published by the Ministry of Justice show that the number of employment tribunal claims has fallen for the third consecutive quarter.

Between October and December 2013, there were 9,801 new cases – a 79 per cent reduction compared to the same period the year before.

The latest figures also recorded the highest volume of disposals (closure of a case through withdrawal, settlement, dismissal or pre-tribunal hearing decision) across all tribunals, since the start of this data series in 2008/09. In total 223,246 cases or claims were ‘disposed’ of in 2013, which is an increase of 19 per cent on the same period in 2012.

Employment tribunal disposals increased by 36 per cent, with 34,767 claims disposed of during October to December 2013.

In summary – all good news for employers and bad news for litigators!

Rob Bryan Associates

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