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Tag: EAT fees

Tribunal fees: What do we already know?

You may remember that fees for submitting a claim to Tribunals were first introduced a decade ago in 2013. We were still busy reporting employment law news back then you can see what we said about it here.

However, they had a turbulent time and came in for a lot of criticism. In particular due to the significant drop off in claims they caused (although this was not generally seen as a negative by employers!).

The fees were eventually scrapped by the Supreme Court in 2017. (See what we said about this seismic decision at the time here). In essence, the fees were found to be unaffordable in practice (claims could end up costing around £1,200 in fees alone); had a deterrent effect on bringing claims; and were indirectly discriminatory against women and individuals with protected characteristics – as they were more likely to bring discrimination claims and pay the higher rates.

What’s new?

The Government has launched a consultation on re-introducing Tribunal fees (see here). It has taken account of the Supreme Court’s criticisms and re-designed the fees system so that it meets the tests of ‘affordability, proportionality and simplicity’. The fees will go towards the running costs of Tribunals, and it is estimated that they could generate between £1.3 million to £1.7 million a year from 2025/2026.

The proposal is for a one-off £55 fee to be payable on submitting a claim to the Tribunal, or on lodging an appeal to the EAT. The fee will cover the entire life of the claim or appeal and there will be no further fee for the hearing (or any other stage of the proceedings). The same fee will be paid regardless of the type of claim. Where one claim is brought by multiple claimants, the total fee will still be £55 (meaning that it can be shared between the claimants). A ‘Help with Fees’ remission scheme will also be established to provide support for individuals with low income and savings (the scheme will provide either a full or partial fee remission to any eligible applicants who cannot afford to pay the fees).

The Government’s hope is that the low level of the new fees is unlikely to cause a significant drop in claims if they are re-introduced. But that they will be enough to lead to more employees properly engaging with ACAS early conciliation.

The consultation will close on 25 March 2024 and, if implemented, fees may become payable from as early as November 2024. That said, if the Labour party wins the next general election and follows through on its 2017 manifesto promise to abolish fees, they might not last long (again!).


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