Tribunal fees and the impact on Settlement

As you will be aware from our previous news article on Employment Tribunal fees, someone wishing to bring a claim in the Tribunal may now have to pay a fee to do so. There are two stages at which fees may be payable. Firstly, Claimants may be required to pay between £160 and £250 as an ‘Issue Fee’ to initiate a Claim. They may then need to pay between £230 and £950 as a ‘Hearing Fee’. It was thought that this may lead to a decrease in the number of claims being brought in the Tribunal and this seems to have happened to a certain extent. However, another consequence seems to be emerging.

Due to the fact that employers are aware that, having issued a claim, a Claimant may then be required to pay up to £950 as a Hearing Fee, some employers are seeing this as a reason to delay discussing the options of settling a claim. Instead they prefer to wait and see whether the Claimant is actually able to make the payment of the Hearing Fee. It is a fact that some employer will be inclined to wait as there is always the chance that a claim may fall apart because the Claimant is unable to make this payment.

Therefore, always carefully consider whether or not to take up any offers of settlement before proceeding to issuing a claim as, not only can it be an expensive and stressful option for you, there also appears to be evidence to suggest that it may deter employers from considering settlement for some time after receiving a claim form from the Tribunal.

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