The introduction of employment tribunal fees by the Ministry of Justice has significantly changed how workplace disputes are resolved.
Since July 2013, employees must pay a £250 fee to make a claim to an employment tribunal, and a further £950 to have a hearing.
The findings of a review into the impact of these fees has revealed that the number of cases since the fees were introduced has fallen by 70%.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Justice estimates that up to 8,000 claimants who were unable to resolve their dispute through mediation did not go on to bring tribunal proceedings because they could not afford to pay the required fees.
The government said that it was concerned that the fall in claims brought to the employment tribunal had been “significantly greater than was estimated when fees were introduced”. As a result, it has set out its plans to extend the ‘Help with Fees’ scheme.
The ‘Help with Fees’ scheme waives fees for claimants on lower incomes. Under the proposals, the full cost of the fees would be waived for claimants earning less than £1,250 a month. For those above the threshold, the level of fees will be proportionate to their income.