Fees in the Employment Tribunal
How much is payable?
On Monday 29th July 2013, fees for making a claim were introduced into the Employment Tribunal system for the first time.
The claimant is now required to pay an initial fee to issue a claim and a further fee if the claim proceeds to a hearing. The fees will vary depending on whether it is a type A claim, such as unlawful deduction of wages, or a type B claim which includes claims such as unfair dismissal and discrimination. A type A claim has an initial issue fee of £160 and then a hearing fee of £230, if it proceeds that far. A type B claim has an issue fee of £250 and then a hearing fee of £950, again if it is not settled beforehand. The fees for multiple claims will vary depending on the type of claim being made and also on the number of claimants. Fees are also payable for appeals submitted to the Employment Appeal Tribunal.
Does everyone have to pay?
If a claimant is in receipt of certain benefits, falls below a given annual gross income or is dependent on their net disposable income they may qualify for fee remission.
No fees are payable if the claimant receives income support or working tax credit (provided no child tax credit is being paid), income-based jobseeker’s allowance or income-related employment and support allowance.
Full fee remission applies where the gross annual income is below £13,000 for a single person with no children or £18,000 for a couple with no children £18,000, or £15,930 for a single person with one child or £20,030 for a couple with one child or £18,860 for a single person with two children or £23,860 for a couple with two children.
A partial remission of fees is possible if the claimant’s disposable monthly income in a month is less than £50. If disposable monthly income is above £50, then the claimant will pay 25% of the first £200 and 50% of anything over £200.
What happens if the claimant fails to pay the correct fee?
It is not possible to fail to pay the appropriate amount on the online application. However, failure to pay the correct amount by post will mean that the clock for limitation purposes does not stop and the claim form may be rejected. The Employment Tribunal may write to the claimant giving a deadline to pay the correct amount by, in which case if they comply with this then the original date of application would stand.
What about the hearing fee?
It has yet to be confirmed as to when the hearing fee will fall due. It has been suggested that in short track cases it will be 21 days before the hearing and for other cases it will be 28 days. The Employment Tribunal may order the fees to be repaid to the claimant if they are successful with their claim.
It is worth noting however, that the Employment Tribunal has no power to refund the fees if the claim is settled or withdrawn. However, it is open for settlement discussions address the reimbursement of fees.
If the hearing fee is not paid nor a fee remission application made then the claim will be dismissed. If the remission application is rejected, the claimant will be given the opportunity to pay the hearing fee but failure to do so would again result in the claim being struck out.