Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Making the Employment Justice System Pay - Fees and Penalties

The Employment Tribunal system has been very expensive to run.  Lots of claims have meant lots of Tribunals, staff and judges and the system has been free to use and therefore there has been no income stream to off-set the costs.  This led to some Tribunals like East London shutting their doors because they had run out of cash - i.e. HMG failed in its basic constitutional duty to provide a justice system.  HMG is having no more of that - Employment Tribunals are going to pay their way.

Firstly there are going to be fees to pay to use them - for a bog standard unfair dismissal -  £250 to issue, £950 for a hearing, £650 payable by the Respondent if you fancy a bit of judicial mediation, £400 to issue your appeal in the EAT and £1200 for the Appeal Tribunal to hear your appeal   Fees remitted if you are on benefits.

Secondly, if an Employer been found by a Tribunal to have breach someone's Employment Law rights in a manner which can be described as 'aggravated' then they will order 50% the value of the damages up to £5000.  You get a 1/2 price deal if you pay the Treasury within 21 days.  See Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 - awaiting official publication.

Thirdly, HMG would prefer it if you did not trouble the Tribunal at all -  so there will be enforced Conciliation by ACAS before you can actually issue your claim.  Again this is in the new 2013 Act, which is awaiting publication.

Fourthly, the 2013 Act will empower some claims to be determined not by Judges but by Legal Officers - who are cheaper....oh and more often the EAT will be composed of just a Judge - making it cheaper....

Oh and - the Tribunal will be able to make deposit orders on specific allegations and issues to try and stem the 'tide' of crap cases going forward - to save money....

Have you spotted the theme to these reforms yet...........

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