Tribunal fees advice

Employers who think employment tribunal claims will be less of a risk following the introduction of fees for claimants could be in for a surprise, says a Sheffield employment lawyer.

David Gordon of Atteys Solicitors, one of South Yorkshire’s largest independent legal firms, says employers should be aware that many claimants will not have to pay the fees if they are on a low income after losing their job and others will be able to claim back the fee if they are successful.

From summer 2013 anyone who makes an employment tribunal claim will have to pay a fee, ranging from £160 for the claims issue fee to £1,600 for an Employment Appeal Tribunal. The most common charge is likely to be £1,200 which includes a £250 claims issue fee and a £950 fee for an Employment Tribunal hearing.

“The arrival of fees presents a radical change in a system that has traditionally been free for claimants starting proceedings. Although many employers and possibly employees may believe the new fee arrangements will prevent claims from being brought, in reality many claimants will be exempt,” said Mr Gordon.