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MoJ proposal to reintroduce fees in the ET and EAT - March 2024

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In January 2024, the MoJ instituted a consultation regarding its proposal to reintroduce fees in the Employment Tribunals (ET) and Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT).

The DLA set up a working group to coordinate a joint response to this consultation and asked members to send in their comments.

The resulting response was submitted to the MoJ's online survey on 25th March 2024 - you can read the full text here

The survey contained the following questions:

As set out above, we propose a £55 issue fee for claimants, including having the same issue fee where there are multiple claimants.

Question 1: Do you agree with the modest level of the proposed claimant issue fee of £55, including where there may be multiple claimants, to ensure a simple fee structure? Please give reasons for your answer.

  1. Impact on access to justice
  2. Financial viability
  3. ACAS
  4. Disproportionate cost v saving
  5. Encourages illegal employment practices
  6. Likely to result in further fee increases
  7. Distinction with the Civil Courts
  8. Group claims

We propose introducing a £55 fee payable by the appellant upon bringing an appeal against a decision of the ET, where several ET decisions are being appealed, a £55 fee is payable for each of those decisions.

Question 2: Do you agree with the modest level of the proposed EAT appeal fee? Please give reasons for your answer.

The three principles underpinning this proposal are affordability, proportionality and simplicity. These ensure that the cost of the fee can broadly be met by users; that the value of the fee generally does not exceed the value of the remedy being sought; and that there is clarity around what fees are payable and when.

Question 3: Do you believe this proposal meets the three principles set out above? Please give reasons for your answer.

When charging fees, we seek to recover the full cost of the service provided, where possible. Recognising that the level of fees proposed in this consultation are modest and only seek minimal contribution from users, we would welcome views on the potential to introduce higher levels of ET and EAT fees. This would help increase cost recovery, strengthen our ability to better support an efficient and effective ET service and further reduce the financial burden on taxpayers.

Question 4: Do you consider that a higher level of fees could be charged in the ET and/or the EAT? Please give reasons for your answer.

Question 5. Are there any other types of proceedings where similar considerations apply, and where there may be a case for fee exemptions?

Question 6. Are you able to share your feedback on the different factors that affect the decision to make an ET claim, and if so, to what extent? For instance, these could be a tribunal fee, other associated costs, the probability of success, the likelihood of recovering a financial award, any other non-financial motivations such as any prior experience of court or tribunal processes, etc.

Question 7. Do you agree that we have correctly identified the range and extent of the equalities impacts for the proposed fee introductions set out in this consultation?