A Freedom of Information request brought by Thompsons Solicitors reveals that employment tribunal fees were waived in only 4.5% of 14,000 claims in the six months to December, despite government claims that one in three would not have to pay when it brought in means-tested charges. The number of employment tribunal cases has fallen from 50,000 a quarter to 10,000 since fees were introduced in July 2013. Labour’s Ian Murray said: “These new fees are placing a hurdle in front of our poorest workers who have been wronged at work.”
The High Court has dismissed a request for a judicial review challenging the newly introduced cap of one year’s salary in compensation for unfair dismissal.
The cap came into force on 29 July last year under the Unfair Dismissal (Variation of the Limit of Compensatory Award) Order 2013. Previously individuals could claim for three years’ salary to a maximum of £74,200 in compensation.
Londonemployment firm Compromise Agreements sought the review on the cap this week.
Barrister Alex Monaco (pictured), founder of Compromise Agreements, said: ‘We are looking at options and looking at appealing it.’ He said the firm is seeking pro bono help from lawyers to fight the ruling.
Monacosaid the cap on compensation will disproportionately affect older people, as they are most likely to receive more than a year’s salary in compensation due to difficulty in finding another job.
Trade union Unison is also challenging a High Court ruling in February rejecting a request for a judicial review of the government’s decision to introduce tribunal fees.
The number of employment tribunal claims has dropped sharply since the fees were introduced, with a 79% fall in the final quarter of last year compared with the same period in 2012.
We wish him well in any appeal to reverse what is clearly bad law. Why shoud the financial burden on employers be lessened just to help them during a recession especially when the economy is now doing so well?
Employment Tribunal Fees – Remission Statistics
A written answer in the House of Commons has revealed that 24% of remission applications between 29th July and 31st December 2012 were granted (in part or in full).
Putting that in perspective, it amounts to remission being granted in just 5.5% of the 9,305 single claims and 1,519 multiple claim cases issued in that period. In the original impact assessment for tribunal fees, the MOJ predicted that 31% of Claimants would be eligible for fees.
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