The Government has confirmed that it will shortly commence a review of the Employment Tribunal Fee system.
When fees were introduced in July 2013, the then coalition Government pledged to re-evaluate the system after an appropriate period to consider whether the regime was having the desired effect of encouraging alternative dispute resolution and transferring the cost of the system onto users.
In the intervening period, there have been numerous unsuccessful legal challenges to the fee regime and figures published by the Ministry of Justice have shown a dramatic fall in the number of cases at employment tribunals. The introduction of fees was broadly welcomed by employers, who reportedly face average costs of £8,500 each time a case is brought. But they have also been branded “a barrier to justice” by organisations representing employees. Fees are currently set at either £160 or £250 to lodge a claim followed by a hearing fee of £230 or £950 (depending on the type of claim).
The results of the review are expected to be published later in the year.