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Employment tribunal fees

Employment tribunal fees will be tailored to encourage businesses and workers to mediate or settle a dispute rather than go to a full hearing from summer 2013

Following the Ministry of Justice's consultation with businesses and the public, some of the fees will be slightly lower than initially proposed in order to strike a fair balance between the needs of business and tribunal users.

Bringing a claim or an appeal to the employment tribunal is currently free of charge with the full cost being met by the taxpayer. By introducing fees, people using employment tribunals will start to contribute a significant proportion of the £84m cost of running the system. The aim is to reduce the taxpayer subsidy of these tribunals by transferring some of the cost to those who use the service, while protecting access to justice for all.

Fees are part of the Government's program to promote early resolution of disputes in order to help individuals and companies to get on with their lives and businesses. The intention is to encourage people to look for alternatives – like mediation – so that tribunals remain a last resort for the most complex cases.

From summer 2013, mediation by a judge will cost £600 rather than the £750 proposed in the 2011 consultation. This offers a considerable saving on the £1,200 it would cost to take a 'level 2' claim all the way to full hearing. The lower fee to take the administratively simpler 'level 1' claims to a full hearing will be £390 – which drops to just £160 if settled before the hearing fee is payable.

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