We hope you are well rested after the weekend, we certainly earned our rest after a very busy Friday at the YMCA preparing a lunch for around 100 people, see how we got on here (including my night before prep, complete with swimming goggles)!
It was such a great, fulfilling afternoon and I really enjoyed spending time with the team. Everything went very smoothly – so much so, Emma was panicking about not being panicky enough!! We definitely showed our effectiveness, working as a team.
I was certainly ready for a wine after that day, but I am proud to say that I resisted and I have almost completed dry January, roll on Friday!
We’re now discussing doing the sleep easy with the YMCA, where we would be sponsored to sleep outside for one night for those who are at risk of homelessness and poverty in Derby and Derbyshire so watch this space for any updates from us on this. We’re working on convincing everyone!
For this week’s blog, I’ve been getting a sense of déjà vu.
The government have issued a consultation paper on re-introducing fees in employment tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal.
Back in 2013, fees were introduced meaning that wannabe claimants had to pay £390 to bring a straight forward claim, while for more complicated matters, fees totalled £1,200.
I can hear you rejoicing as I type those words but hold fire.
First! This is only a consultation at this stage. There’s no guarantee it’s going to happen for a whole host of reasons.
- There’s previous case law that ruled previous fee regimes unlawful (although this does not seem an unreasonable proposal given the low fees);
- Lots of consultations come to nothing (how many have we seen in recent years and never heard about again?) and
- It’s looking like there’s going to be a massive amount of political upheaval in the next 12 months. So, by the time the consultation is complete, and legislation is drafted, we may have a new government and it may not be top of their priorities to re-introduce fees. Although… that being said, they may well be able to get it through in time, and then a Labour government may not have the inclination to reverse the decision.
Second! When we say that there’s a consultation around the reintroduction of tribunal fees, we aren’t talking big bucks here.
Oh no, the proposed fee is £55 to bring a claim in the employment tribunal. It’s a one-off payment – there will be no further fees payable to make applications as part of ongoing litigation and it doesn’t matter if one person brings the claim or it’s part of a multi-party claim. Plus, it’s proposed that there’d be a “fee remission scheme” for those who genuinely couldn’t afford the fees. Certain claims wouldn’t require fees either (mainly though that’s going to be claims against the national redundancy fund and claims for failure to collectively consult – which are few and far between nowadays). That’s cheap when compared to previous fees, and fees for other courts.
We’ve spoken at length about the increase in tribunal claims we’ve seen in recent years: particularly the increase in spurious claims where somebody brings it to “chance their arm”, given they have nothing to lose.
If the proposed fees were introduced then this could help to reduce some of those spurious claims but looking at what the government is proposing, I’m not entirely convinced that is going to happen to any great effect. If you’re dead set on bringing your claim, you’re likely going to stump up the £55 – particularly if you’ve been in a well-paying job.
If you want to have your say on the reintroduction of fees (you may have lots of feelings about this), then you can write to the MOJ at the following address with your views:
Ministry of Justice
102 Petty France
London SW1H 9AJ
Email: MOJ Fees Policy firstname.lastname@example.org
This needs to be done by 25 March 2024.
In the meantime, tribunal claims seem to be coming thick and fast and Precept, as something of litigation experts, are here to help so give us a call if you get a nasty claim land in your lap.