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Tribunal Fees Introduced

4th October, 2011

The Chancellor George Osborne has yesterday announced two important changes which are part of the latest development in the Government’s workplace reforms which aim to increase business confidence to take on more workers.

Firstly, the qualifying period for unfair dismissal will be increased from one year to two years with effect from 1st April 2012.

Changes to the unfair dismissal rules follow the “Resolving the Workplace Disputes” consultation which was published in January this year.

Following the Consultation, Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

“Businesses tell us that unfair dismissal rules are a major barrier to taking on more people.”

Secondly, fees will be introduced for lodging Tribunal claims. The following fee structure will apply:

1. upfront fee of £250 when lodging an ET1 (employment tribunal claim); 2. further fee of £1000 payable by the claimant when the hearing is listed; 3. higher fees if the claim is over £30,000 4. fee to be refunded if the claimant wins, and forfeited if they lose; 5. fees to be waived for those with no money.

The detail in respect of the fee waiver is yet to be provided but if the test for a fee waiver is simply being on income support, then most ex-employees will automatically qualify for the waiver.

The changes are part of an employment law review by parliament which has already removed the default retirement age, thus removing significant paperwork obligations for employers and bringing wider benefits to the economy whilst making it easier for people to keep working.

Other examples of regulations which government is seeking views on includes the rules on collective redundancies, employment agencies, immigration checks, the national minimum wage and statutory sick pay.

If you have any queries regarding this article please contact Helen Watson at [email protected]

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