There have been recent changes made to UK employment law in order to combat the excessive amounts of claims that have been issued in recent years which are costing the British millions of pounds every year. These new changes state that anyone wishing to put forward a claim will have to pay a fee so that the cost of the tribunal will have less strain upon the already overflowing employment tribunal costs that the British government are paying for each year. |
These fees relate directly to Type A claims which now cost £160, and Type B claims which are £230. Type A claims are those that cover redundancy payment and unlawful deduction from employee wages. Type B claims are those which assess claims of unfair dismissal and discrimination such as harassment at wor. However, there is some room for a claimant to negotiate as some people will be exempt from these charges if they have a disposable capital of more than £3,000, or £16,000 if they are aged over 61 years old at the time of making the complaint. Other possible loopholes in fee reduction come in the form of judging whether a claimant has a monthly income too low to pay these charges.
Unison, the UK Public sector union has directly challenged these new laws by claiming they are unlawful on two grounds. Firstly, that they breach the EU rule of efficiency because they make it "virtually impossible or excessively difficult" for an employee to exercise the rights they are entitled to by EU law. These fees are also indirectly discriminatory because the Type B fees (the more expensive of the two charges) discriminate against vulnerable groups such as female claimants, disabled claimants and ethnic minorities. However, Unison’s challenge was thrown out by the High Court at a February 2014 ruling on grounds that their concerns were being expressed before a fair amount of time had passed since the charges were introduced and that it’s too soon for the UK legal system to measure any negative effects that they might cause. Unison is planning to appeal against this decision through the Court of Appeal.
The High Court’s ruling is backed up by statistics showing that the majority of employment tribunal cases are rejected with many of them later being considered to have never been worthy of being put before a tribunal in the first place. As of early 2014 there are hundreds of such tribunal claims that are still waiting to be taken to court at the expense of taxpayers’ money which will surely reach millions of pounds. The High court’s decision is also supported by figures that show there has been a positive reduction in tribunal claims made since the fees were introduced. Between July-September 2013 a total of 39,514 were made which reveals a considerable decline compared to the same period in 2012 when 47,789 claims were recorded for a drop of 17%.
If you have concerns relating to UK employment law, contact Natenplaw.co.uk for expert legal advice from a team of top a href="http://natemplaw.co.uk/employment-law-solicitors-london/">employment law solicitors.
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