Government to consult on employment tribunal fees

EMPLOYERS’ groups welcomed the government’s plans to charge disgruntled employees for access to tribunals yesterday.

The government is seeking to bring down the costs of running tribunals, which cost the taxpayer £84.2m last year to process 218,000 claims.

Justice minister Jonathan Djanogly launched a consultation on introducing fees at the start of a claim followed by another charge when a claim goes to hearing, or a single fee if the claimant agrees that their award is limited to £30,000.

Losers of a claim would also be forced to pay the winner’s fees.

Djanogly said the levies “will encourage businesses and workers to settle problems earlier, through non-tribunal routes like conciliation or mediation”.

Katja Hall, chief policy director at employers’ lobby group the CBI, said the charges were “a good way of weeding out more of the weak and vexatious claims, which are costing the taxpayer many millions of pounds a year.”

“Asking a higher fee for the bigger claims will also help to keep expectations realistic,” she added in a statement.