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On 29 July 2013, fees were introduced into the Employment Tribunals for the first time.

A Claimant is now required to pay an “issue fee” on submitting their claim and a “hearing fee” if the claim proceeds to a formal hearing. Fees will be set at two levels, depending on the type of claim being made:

  • For Type A Claims – which are less complex claims, including those relating to pay (unpaid wages, notice and redundancy payments) - £160 issue fee, £230 hearing fee; and
  • For Type B Claims – which tend to be more complex cases including unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistleblowing - £250 issue fee, £950 hearing fee.

It is hoped that employers will see a reduction in the number of claims brought – particularly weak claims and those of a frivolous or vexatious nature.

A further important change is the implementation of a “sift” stage. After the claim form and employer’s response have been submitted to the Tribunal, they are reviewed by an Employment Judge who will decide whether the case can proceed.  Weak cases which have no reasonable prospects of success can be struck out without a hearing, as can claims which the Tribunal has no jurisdiction to consider.

This is welcome news for many of our clients who see employees escalating issues too readily to the Employment Tribunal.

Should you require any further information or advice on Tribunal matters please contact Samantha Clark on Samantha.clark@irwinmitchell.com or on 0113 218 6410.