Government Review of Employment Tribunal fees
On 31st January 2017, the UK Government published its review of the introduction of fees in the Employment Tribunal. The review concludes that the fee system has succeeded in raising just under 20% of the costs of the Employment Tribunals system, and that the fees have discouraged, but not prevented, people bringing claims (there has been a decline of about 62% in the number of claims being brought).
The Government propose to leave the system in place, but to make more people eligible for a reduction or exemption from fees by raising the income thresholds to more potential Claimants to qualify for “help with fees”. The requirement to pay fees for claims for payments from the National Insurance Fund (where the employer can’t pay redundancies or has gone into liquidation) is to be abolished immediately.
The UK Government is consulting on its proposals and the 108 page review asks a number of questions for consultation. The consultation closes on 14th March 2017 and can be accessed here.
The Scottish Government gave an undertaking to abolish Employment Tribunal fees in 2015, yet there have been no further moves by the Administration to that effect. It is hoped however that as the Scottish Government continue to assume control over “Scottish Tribunals”, that this will be achieved.