Introducing Fees in the Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal

Mon 25th Mar 2024

The Ministry of Justice has launched an open consultation on introducing fees in the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal. The proposed structure would involve a fixed fee of £55 in each jurisdiction, including a fee remission programme for individuals meeting specific financial criteria. The Ministry of Justice has asserted that a £55 fee is reasonable and generally affordable.

The consultation revisits the concept of fees, which previously had been introduced in 2013. It was however invalidated by the Supreme Court in 2017 due to its disproportionate impact on access to justice. The current proposal suggests a £55 issue fee for all Employment Tribunal Claims. This fee remains fixed at £55, irrespective of the number of complaints or claimants on the form. Unlike the 2013 scheme, a separate hearing fee is not suggested and the £55 issue fee is intended to cover the entire claim process. For Employment Appeal Tribunal appeals, a proposed fee of £55 would apply to each judgment, decision or order being appealed.

In contrast the 2013 fees regime ranged from £160 to £950, and the Government acknowledges that the previous structure did not strike the right balance between funding the tribunal system and safeguarding access to justice. The proposed reinstatement of fees aims for consistency with other civil courts and tribunals, while generating funds to invest in Acas dispute resolution, reducing the costs to taxpayers. The Government anticipates that the introduction of tribunal fees may incentivise parties to resolve disputes through the Acas early conciliation. 

For help and advice on this topic or related issues, please contact Emily Morrison by calling 01727 798106 or emailing emily.morrison@salaw.com.

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Every care is taken in the preparation of our articles. However, no responsibility can be accepted to any person who acts on the basis of information contained in them alone. You are recommended to obtain specific advice in respect of individual cases.