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Employment Tribunal Reforms 2013: what it means for you

Most of you will be aware that from Monday 29 July 2013 the employment tribunal rules will change. Those of you who have ongoing claims and those of you who are due to submit a claim or response are probably asking yourselves whether this affects you.

Well, the short answer is that it might! I have contacted our local tribunal and have asked them to clarify whether or not pre 29 July claims will have to pay a fee for a final hearing; you will all be relieved to hear that they do not (not least of all that this would be an administrative nightmare to administer)!

So then what’s new…

Fees

For the first time since the tribunals were set up in 1970, employees and employers wishing to pursuing employment disputes in the tribunals will have to pay fees.

Claims are split into Type A and Type B claims:

TYPE A claimsTYPE B claims
Statutory Redundancy PaymentsUnfair dismissal (ordinary or automatic)
Equal PayDiscrimination
Unlawful Deduction of WagesWhistleblowing
Breach of Contract 
Determination of Section 1 Statements 
Failure to Inform and Consult as required by TUPE 
Claims under the Working Time Regulations 1998 
Refusal to allow time off for dependants 
Refusal to permit, or pay for, time off for antenatal care 
Failure to permit time for trade union duties or public duties 
Failure to permit, or pay for, time off for trade union activities or time off for employee representative 
Failure to permit, or pay for, time off to look for work or arrange training 

The following fees will apply:

Fee typeType AType BPayable by
Issue FeeSingle claimant:2-10 claimants:11-200 claimants:200 + claimants:  £160£320£640£960  £250£500£1,000£1,500  Claimants
Hearing FeeSingle claimant:2-10 claimants:11-200 claimants:200 + claimants:  £230£460£920£1,380  £950£1,900£3,800£5,700  Claimants
Default Judgement:£100£100By the party making the application
Consideration if a judgement following a final hearing:£100£350By the party making the application
Dismissal following withdrawal:£60£60By the party making the application
Employers contract claim:£160No feeEmployers
Judicial Mediation:£600£600Employers

The issue fee for the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) is £400 and the hearing fee is £1,200.

There are remissions for claimants who cannot afford to pay; they are complicated and if you believe that you are eligible please contact me for an assessment.

So please remember if a claim is submitted without an issue fee or a remission certificate it will be rejected by the tribunals, so ensure that you get it right!

More rigorous sifts by employment judges  

Judges are going to be more rigorous at reviewing claims (ET1) and responses (ET3) and rejection of claims and striking out of responses is going to be more common than it is at present.

Preliminary Hearings

Pre 29 July 2013 the employment tribunal judge could not convert a preliminary hearing into a final hearing. Post 29 July, the new rules will allow judges to do this. This will ensure that, providing both parties are able to argue the case on the day will save costs.

It might be the case that when listing Preliminary Hearings, tribunals send out orders for disclosure of documents, bundles and witness statements. This maybe the only way that a party could be prepared for a final hearing but I guess we will have to wait and see!

Alternative Dispute Resolutions (ADR)

There are new obligations for parties to enter into ADR before submitting a tribunal claim. A new mandatory ACAS early conciliation scheme is due to be introduced in April 2014.

Employees will only be able to submit a tribunal claim once ACAS has issued a certificate of compliance. Time limits will be extended to cater for the additional obligation.

Electronic Hearings

Telephone Hearings have been conducting CMD’s over the telephone over the last couple of years, however the new rules state that hearing can be conducted via email. Again no guidance as to how this will work in practice.

Finally for those of you bringing a tribunal claim or defending a claim download the new version of the ET1 or ET3.

If you have any questions as to how the above reforms affect please do not hesitate to contact me on 0113 350 4030 or at samira.cakali@scesolicitors.co.uk


Samira Cakali

Samira Cakali is a pragmatic and approachable solicitor advocate with extensive contentious and non-contentious experience in the fields of employment law as well as civil litigation, within a range of commercial businesses from SME’s to multinationals as well as senior executives.

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