Do I have to pay a fee to bring a claim against my employer?
Rebecca Lake, Partner at Davenport Lyons solicitors answers:
This is a matter that is currently subject to Government consultation with, as yet, no implementation date announced. However, consultation closes on 16 May 2013 and we expect that perhaps by the summer the Government will announce the introduction of fees in the Employment Tribunal. This will mean that for all claims lodged after the implementation date Claimants will have to pay a fee both to issue their claim, and also to proceed to a hearing. The consultation proposes two levels of fees, 1 and 2. Level 1 fees are £160 to issue and £230 for a hearing. Level 2 fees are £250 to issue and £950 for a hearing. An unfair dismissal case would fall into Level 2.
Unlike the usual position on costs in the Tribunal (where each side must bear their own, win or lose, except in exceptional circumstances), the consultation proposes that these new fees may be recovered from the unsuccessful party.
There will also be the possibility of the Tribunal waiving or reducing the fee if the Claimant is able to satisfy a test based on disposable capital and income, most likely to be similar to the type of tests usually adopted for means tested benefits.
This answer was given on 1 May 2013. See updated answer via Ask an Expert Main Page.
IMPORTANT: The contents of this page are for guidance only and do not constitute legal advice. You should consult a solicitor without delay if you require legal advice on a particular employment matter.