Will Employment Tribunal Fees Be Reintroduced?
To be confirmed
The Ministry of Justice has confirmed it may reintroduce fees for employment tribunal claims, insisting it can find a balance that helps fund the court system while being ‘proportionate and progressive’. Richard Heaton, Secretary at the Ministry of Justice, stated that although nothing is set in stone, he believed a fee system can be found that will ensure access to justice.
In July 2017, tribunal fees were abolished following the Supreme Court’s decision.
It is possible that a new fees regime, with fees at a lower level and also involving a fee payable by the employer when submitting an ET3 response, may be introduced within the next 18-24 months.
The Law Commission’s Involvement
The Law Commission is an independent body that revises the law in England and Wales and recommends changes where needed.
It has been confirmed that the Ministry of Justice has asked the Law Commission to provide recommendations for creating a coherent system. It has also been reported that the Law Commission is recommending the power of Employment Tribunals increases. The Law Commission is seeking to improve how employment law disputes are decided.
What May Change
- Employees should be able to bring claims for breach of contract while they are still employed.
- The time limit for bringing all types of employment tribunal claims should increase from three months to six months (currently it is three months for some types of claims).
- Employment tribunals should have the power to give damages in breach of contract claims of up to £100,000 (currently the limit is £25,000).
- There should be improvements made to the procedures for enforcing employment tribunals’ awards to ensure employees receive the compensation in a timely fashion.
Law Commissioner, Nicholas Paines QC stated: “The reforms that we have recommended will bring real benefits for the courts and tribunals system and its users. The adjustments will improve employment tribunals’ ability to resolve employment disputes as effectively and justly as possible in one place.”