Cover stories

Employment tribunal fees abolished

Employment tribunal fees were introduced in July 2013 by the coalition government.

For issuing a claim for lost wages or breach of contract charges started at £160 and increased if the case was heard in a tribunal. More serious claims, including unfair dismissal, had a fee of £250 plus a hearing fee of £950.

This meant total charges came to £1,200, with appeals against decisions costing a further combined sum of £1,600. As a result of the new fee structure the yearly number of tribunal claims declined by around 70%.

Now that the fee has been abolished, the risk of employers facing tribunal claims has increased, as has the risk of a claimant proceeding to a hearing rather than settling.

Wendy Cotton, Social Welfare Line Manager said:
“Employees are now more freely able bring claims against their employers and we expect to see an increase in employees doing so. Employment law protection insurance will of course respond to such matters however the availability of associated legal and risk management advice will support employers to manage risk and exposure hopefully before a claim situation arises”.

The Ministry of Justice said it would take “immediate steps to stop charging fees in employment tribunals and put in place arrangements to refund those who have paid”.

Read more on the legal implications from our employment law partners LHS.

Markel employment law protection policyholders can access expert employment law advice online via elXtr, a leading digital hub for legal and business solutions, powered by LHS Solicitors LLP.