top of page
  • Writer's pictureRobert Spicer

New Poll Into Employment Tribunal Fees: It’s Worse Than We Thought

And so we begin 2015 with news that every employment lawyer already knows – the employment tribunal fees are putting off potential claimants. This is unsurprisingly after all, as it was the Government’s aim in July 2013 when they introduced them to dissuade weak or vexatious claims. However, research published by the Citizen’s Advice Bureau found that 80% of their service users were put off pursuing their claim by the fees. It is simply not true that 80% of cases are weak or vexatious.

The Government also justified the levy by stating that the fees would fund the tribunal system. Again, Citizens Advice have debunked by highlighted that the fees only cover 7% of the cost of running the tribunals. The number of winning cases for claimants has also dropped to below 60%, which as the Law Society Gazette rightly concludes, suggests that the fees have had a bigger impact on stronger cases than weak ones.

The fact of the matter is that placing a financial hurdle on pursing cases, which does not inquire into the quality of the action, means a price is placed on justice. If you can afford it, you can claim; the merits of case are irrelevant. As the research above noted, the fee level was so high compared to the amount of compensation usually obtained that clients pursuing unfair dismissal actions or discrimination claims would have to put aside all of their discretionary income for six months to afford the fees.

The problem thus is twofold – the introduction of fees at all is illogical compared to its purpose, whilst being set far too high. If fees must stay, then they also must be reduced.

The legal case over the fees introduction will continue this year and we at Frederick Place Chambers will continue to update you. In the meantime, claimants should be aware that there is a remission service in place for fees, more information can be found on the Ministry of Justice’s website.


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page