Unison were aiming to secure a judicial review from the High Court whereby they were not successful, unfortunately the consequences of such now means employees have to pay on account, upfront if they want to bring an employment tribunal, opposed to previously whereby they could bring an employment tribunal free of charge.
Fees will now be as follows, employment disputes categorised as Type A cases typically evolving around issues such as wages, deduction of wages, owed redundancy pay, annual leave unpaid, refusing time off, employees must pay a one hundred and sixty pounds £160.00 issue fee when the claim is instigated followed by a two hundred and thirty pounds hearing fee which must be paid prior to any hearing.
Type B cases which concern the more complex of cases involving issues of dismissal, unfair, constructive, discriminatory practices, whistle blowing, equal pay will attract a two hundred and fifty pounds £250.00 fee to issue, followed by a nine hundred and fifty pounds £950.00 hearing fee.
The government contend that the employment tribunal system has been changed with a view to protecting employers from the growing number of illegitimate and vexatious claims.
The Tribunal Service confirmed not even 10 per cent of claims are found in the employees favour, whereby the cost to the employer is around eight thousand five hundred pounds £8500.00 in lawyers fees or five thousand four hundred pounds £5400.00 the approximate average for a settlement outside of court.
The recession has brought with it an enormous increase in claims brought against employers whereby these reforms are a mechanism devised to prevent illegitimate claims from being brought. This of course can potentially put off employees with legitimate claims from pursuing actions, however it is felt that if they have legitimate claims, then they need not worry as they will of course be heard and the claim found in their favour, in theory that works, but where does the employee get the funds from originally if they cannot afford to go to an employment tribunal? Surely trying our employment mediation services would be much cheaper, less stressful and more cost effective?