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Fee remission scheme for Employment Tribunals came into force on 7 October

9th October, 2013

When fees were introduced into the Employment Tribunals earlier this year, the government announced its intention to introduce a single fees and remission system which will apply across all courts and tribunals.

The fee remission scheme came into force on 7 October 2013. In order to qualify for fee remission, an applicant will need to satisfy two tests; the gross monthly income test and the disposable capital test.

The gross monthly income test requires the applicant to be in receipt of certain state benefits or have a low gross household monthly income (this replaces the previous gross annual income and net monthly income tests).

In addition, the disposable capital test requires those aged under 61 with a disposable household capital of between £3,000 and £8,000 to spend up to one third of their disposable capital on fees (regardless of income). Those with £8,000 or more will be required to spend up to half their disposable capital on fees. Those over 61 will not be required to pay any fee if their disposable capital is less than £16,000 and they meet the low-income test.

The consultation response states that applicants will not be required to provide proof of disposable capital, but it is important to remember that the Delivery Managers have the power to request such evidence. Evidence is still required to satisfy the gross monthly income test, but the requirements are being simplified.

Finally, the time period for applying for retrospective remissions is being reduced from six months to three months.

Recently, there has been an interesting case concerning the timing of fee payments and remissions. In Dozie v Addison Lee Plc it was held that an appeal is properly founded at the point it is presented, regardless of whether or not the appropriate fee has been paid.

Normally the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) will take no action until the correct fee is paid (or remission granted) and the appeal will be struck out under rule 17A, but Dozie held that the appeal will remain properly founded until such a strike-out is effected and, while in the vast majority of cases the EAT is unlikely to take action until the question of fees is resolved, in urgent cases, the EAT can hear the appeal leaving the fee to be paid later.

The EAT also pointed out that if Dozie were liable to pay a fee she would be entitled to apply to the EAT for an order that the respondent reimburse it under new rule 34A(2A).

For further information and advice on bringing an Employment Tribunal claim and the fees or remissions this will involve, please contact Claire Brook on 01244 405575 or send an email to [email protected].

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