Only 1/4 of employment tribunal remission applications are successful
According to information contained within a written answer in the House of Commons which is considering the issue of fees generally, only 24% of individuals who had applied for remission from Employment Tribunal Fees between 29th July (the date when fees first became payable) and 31st December 2013 were successful.
All Claimants who now bring a claim before an Employment Tribunal have to pay an issue and a hearing fee. The amount payable depends upon the nature of the claim/s, but common claims such as unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistleblowing cost £250 to issue, with a further £950 fee should the matter proceed to a full hearing.
The remission system was originally introduced to allow individuals to apply for full or partial exemption from the fees, depending on their financial circumstances.
These rules were also changed in October last year, which made it more difficult to obtain remission. The introduction of a new capital test means that if an applicant or their partner, has over £3,000 in savings or disposable capital, they are not eligible for remission at all, even if they are in receipt of state benefits at the time of the application (and effectively living off savings).
Glenn Hayes, employment partner at national law firm Irwin Mitchell, said, “These figures don’t come as a surprise. The remission rules are complex and the recent update to the rules to include capital limits certainly makes it far more difficult for people to be successful in their application, particularly as any redundancy payment will be counted as part of the capital limits.
"Even if an applicant looks to be eligible, the process is time consuming and requires proof of income and capital in the form of original documents, which can be difficult to obtain, leaving the potential applicant wondering whether 'the hassle' is worth it.
"Although we will probably have to wait 12 months to get a full understanding of the impact of fees, these figures suggest that the remission scheme is not available to many employees wishing to bring claims and is likely to have also been a contributing factor to the significant fall in the numbers of claims issued since July 2013.”