LONDON, April 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
This summer, the government introduces a fee system for claimants submitting claims, as well as penalties for employers who lose tribunals.
Important new changes to the Employment Tribunal system are planned to be implemented this summer, according. Redundancy solicitors Thomas Mansfield say the move will possibly limit the number of frivolous claims received.
For employee claimants, the fees are divided into Level 1 and Level 2 claims:
- Level 1 claims are generally for sums due on termination of employment. These can include unpaid wages, notice payments and severance agreements. The fee for issuing a claim will be £160, and the fee for reaching a hearing will be £230.
- Level 2 claims relate to unfair dismissal, discrimination, pay equality and whistleblowing. The issue fee will be £250 and the hearing fee £950. The increased fees reflect the generally more-valuable outcomes of such tribunals.
At their discretion, judges can order employers to reimburse fees paid by successful claimants, and vice versa. Certain claimants will be exempt from the fees, including those on benefits or whose income is below a specified amount. Redundancy solicitors expect the move to reduce the number of low value claims being brought against employers. It's also likely to make level 2 claims harder to settle, as employees seek to recover the hearing and issue fees as part of their compensation.
The financial penalties for employers will be contingent on as-yet-unspecified 'aggravating factors.' The penalty will be 50% of the total compensation paid, up to a maximum of £5,000.
Redundancy solicitors across the UK have varying interpretations of the 'aggravating factors' mentioned in the legislation. Each tribunal will decide this at their own discretion, but it's likely to include the size of the employer (with more paid out by bigger companies), the duration of any violation and the behaviour of both parties.
What remains unclear is what happens to employers who simply fail to pay the penalty, but all eyes will be on the practical application of the new system, which will be underway by early 2014.
According to a spokesperson at ThomasMansfield: "This proposed change will fundamentally change the legal principles behind compensation in the Employment Tribunal and it remains to be seen how it will work in practice."
- Founded in 2004, Thomas Mansfield LLP provides first class employment law advice to both employers and individuals. Full details of the services they provide can be found at http://www.thomasmansfield.com.
- The firm has expanded rapidly over the past five years and now has 13 experienced solicitors, handpicked from top quality firms across the UK, all specialising in employment law.
- Taking an innovative approach to client service, Thomas Mansfield LLP has introduced the Lawyers4work scheme, a new insurance backed product which helps employers protect against the risk of employment tribunal claims, as well as providing a range of unique multi-media and e-learning training solutions.
- ThomasMansfield have achieved the Law Society's Lexcel accreditation scheme and recently won the Law Society's Excellence award forinnovation.
SOURCE Thomas Mansfield LLP