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Thomas Eggar On The Governments Consultation Into Employment Tribunals.

Thomas Eggar On The Governments Consultation Into Employment Tribunals.

Following the news of the government launching a consultation into employment tribunal fees to lower the &pound84 million cost to the taxpayer and simplify what has become a costly, overly procedural and legal process for both employers and employees, Esther Smith, Employment Partner at Thomas Eggar comments:

"It is positive that the government is consulting people about charging for tribunal claims. There is currently no effective deterrent against spurious claims, and many claimants pursue an action just on the hope that the employer will settle to avoid incurring legal defence costs. However, if a cost system is implemented, which I think it should, it must not deter people with genuine claims but no means to pay the fees.  

“In addition, care needs to be taken to ensure that the cost system implemented does not give rise to a new legal insurance industry, setting up whizzy schemes to fund people's claims for them out of future compensation.

 

“A fee structure related to the value of the claim being pursued would be a sensible starting point. It would also ensure that claimants confirmed the value of the claim they were pursuing early, and they would then be bound to stick to this, or a lower figure as the claim progressed. 

“This in itself should aid early settlement of claims, as all too often claims proceed to hearing on legal points, without the claimants or their representatives giving any real thought to the value of what they are arguing about. The structure of fees related to the stated value of the claim would also deter people from initially over valuing or over estimating their claim at the outset.”

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