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UPDATE – Impact of the Introduction of Fees for Employment Tribunal Applications
We featured in an article in October 2013 the new Employment Tribunal Rules which came into force in July 2013 seek to simplify and clarify the previous 2004 rules. Key areas covered include:
1. The introduction of fees payable by claimants
2. The introduction of a duty on the Tribunal to encourage the use of ACAS,
3. The standardisation and clarification of rules in many areas;
4. The re-titling of case management reviews as ‘pre-hearings’
5. Changes to rules on rejection, rectification and re-submission of applications, and
6. The introduction of a second level of ‘sifting’ with the aim of avoiding weak or unmeritorious claims
Those concerned with the deterrent effect of the introduction of fees, in particular, have highlighted steep decline in the number of Tribunal applications in the last quarter of 2013, reflecting the impact of the introduction of tribunal fees in July, shown in figures published this March.
The number of claims fell 79% in the final quarter of last year to 9,801 compared with the same period in 2012, and dropped 75% on the third quarter of 2013.
In July the government introduced fees of £160 to issue a claim, rising to £250 depending on the type of claim, with further hearing fees of between £230 and £950.
Last month, however, Lord Justice Moses and Mr Justice Irwin dismissed as ‘premature’ a legal challenge to the introduction of tribunal fees made by Unison in the High Court. Unison said it intends to take the case to the Court of Appeal to consider its arguments further, in particular its claim that the fees will have a disproportionate impact on women.
If you would like advice on a potential employment issue or claim with a view to achieving a settlement, please contact Lucy Thomas at our Cockfosters Office.