On 13 July In the past week the Ministry of Justice published its plans for the introduction of fees in employment tribunals following consultation. It is currently planned that these fees will be introduced in the summer of 2013 whereas currently it is free to bring an employment tribunal claim.

Two main fees will be introduced, the first payable at the issue of the claim and the second, the hearing fee, payable around four weeks prior to the hearing taking place.

These fees will based on two fee levels which apply depending on the nature of the claim.

Level 1 will include claims for unpaid wages and holiday pay.  The fee will total £390 (£160 paid to lodge the claim and £230 for the hearing).

Level 2 will include unfair dismissal, discrimination and detriment claims. The fee will total £1200 (£250 to lodge a claim and £950 for the hearing). 

Mediation by a judge will cost £600 rather than the £750 proposed in the consultation document.  

Those on low incomes will be excused part or full payment.

Fees to use the employment tribunal will be payable in advance, and most types of fee will only apply to the person bringing the claim.  The tribunal will have the power to order the unsuccessful party to reimburse the fee to the successful party.  No separate fee will be charged for seeking written reasons for a tribunal’s decision. Those on low incomes can be excused full or part of the proposed payments.

There are no changes to the original proposals to apply fees to the Employment Appeals Tribunal (a £400 issue fee and £1200 hearing fee).