Employment Tribunal fees come into force Monday

Employment tribunal fees – one of the key changes to UK employment law being introduced by this government – come into force on Monday 29 July. You still have time to get your claims in, but you must be quick!

If you have a current submission you can still make it without incurring the fees by applying via the online system by 4pm Friday 26 July, or by first class post on or by the same day. You can also email or fax your forms over the weekend before 23:59 on Sunday 28 July.

A new online submission service, with the new ET1 form, will be available from Monday 29 July 2013 and the new form must be used from this date. Fees ranging from £160 to £1,200 will apply for all employment tribunals from this date. CWU will fund these fees for members whose cases the union takes on.

Tony Rupa, Head of CWU Legal Services, said: “The introduction of the fee structure will seriously restrict our members’ ability to access the tribunal system, especially those on low incomes. It’s an elitist barrier to accessing the justice system which I fear will lead to a rise in bad behaviour by unscrupulous employers in relation to unfair dismissals, discrimination and other unfair treatment at work.

“The government has simultaneously introduced fees for claimants and reduced the level of compensation awards which they could be eligible for. It’s a clear attack on employment rights in this country, which are already the weakest in Europe. As an organisation which operates to protect people at work, we will be funding these fees for our members.”

CWU funding

CWU will fund payment of the issue fee on behalf of our members who submit an ET1 application. Additionally, if the case is assessed as having the required prospects of success and subsequently authorisation is given by the Legal Department to run the case on behalf of the member, if this case progresses to a full tribunal hearing, the union will pay the hearing fee, as appropriate. This arrangement will be monitored over the coming months.

Members should be made aware that the union is not obliged to support any case unless we consider that it has reasonable prospects of success, i.e. 50% or more. Employees have the right to take a complaint of unfair dismissal or unlawful discrimination and other disputes to a tribunal provided they meet the qualifying legal conditions.

Full information regarding the changes, and advice on how to apply for a tribunal hearing, are available in LTB 498 in the members’ area of the website.

For further information on this issue, please contact Tony Rupa in the CWU Legal Services department on 0208 971 7444 or via email trupa@cwu.org.

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