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Should a claimant be burdened with Tribunal fees even if they are successful?

26th March, 2014

Since the introduction of fees in the Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”), there has been plenty of debate about whether the payment of fees is fair on claimants.

The recent case of Portnykh v Nomura UKEAT/0448/13/LA has now highlighted how the Tribunal are likely to treat the payment of fees in a case where the claimant is successful.

In this EAT case, the unsuccessful respondent was ordered to pay £1,600 of fees incurred by the claimant.

Rule 34A(2)(a) of the Employment Tribunal (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2013 gives the EAT discretion to consider whether a respondent should pay the claimant’s fees if their appeal has been successful, in full or in part.

Although this was a highly arguable matter and in fact the claimant had not been fully co-operative throughout proceedings, the appeal succeeded. On this basis, the respondent was ordered to pay the claimant’s fees. However, the order was subject to the outcome of the claimant’s fee remission application which was still outstanding.

This case highlights the importance of seeking expert employment law advice prior to submitting or responding to a claim. Employment Tribunals and the new Employment Tribunal fees follow complex rules of procedure and require expert knowledge to ensure that you fully co-operate with your obligations. Aaron & Partners specialist employment law team can provide advice and representation throughout the Tribunal process.

For further information and advice in relation to Employment Tribunal fees, please contact Helen Watson on 01244 405565 or send an email to [email protected].

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